Offshore processing

Stop the doublespeak on Manus policy

Professor Jane McAdam

If Papua New Guinea is responsible for the fate of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island, then why is it the Australian Prime Minister rejecting New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 of them?  

The double-speak on this issue is breathtaking, and the Australian government’s actions belie its rhetoric that this is PNG’s problem and not its own.  

Manus detention centre: Australia is still responsible for these men — and those who haven't made it this far

Madeline Gleeson

First published in ABC News, 1 November 2017.

Australia has "closed" the Manus Island detention centre, and all eyes are on the hundreds of men who have barricaded themselves in, refusing to move to the "transit" accommodation in nearby Lorengau for fear of what awaits them there.

All Australian security personnel and essential services have been withdrawn, leaving the men to fend for themselves.

How Australia got into the ‘dead end’ of refugee offshore detention


As Australia’s deadline to close its offshore camp on Manus passes, Australian refugee policy expert Claire Higgins explains the social and political factors that molded the country’s changing policies toward asylum seekers arriving by boat.

Transfer Tracker

Madeline Gleeson

The Transfer Tracker shows transfers of asylum seekers both from Australia to Regional Processing Centres and repatriations from Nauru and Manus Island. It provides available figures on the populations in Regional Processing Centres. It shows published outcomes of refugee status determination decisions and information about the total number of people found to be refugees in each country.

Offshore detention: What the landmark settlement fails to resolve

Sangeetha Pillai

First published in The Interpreter.

Australia’s largest ever immigration detention trial has ended before it began, with the largest human rights settlement in Australian legal history. The Australian government and its offshore detention contractors will pay $70 million in compensation to lead plaintiff Majid Kamasaee and 1904 other asylum seekers detained on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island between 2012 and 2016, plus legal costs estimated at $20 million.

The settlement agreement is unquestionably a practical win for the plaintiffs in the case, who stand to receive substantial individual payouts. But it’s also the latest, and largest, lost opportunity to clarify the legal boundaries of Australia's immigration detention.

Offshore processing: an overview


This factsheet provides an overview of Australia’s ‘offshore’ or ‘third country’ processing policies, whereby asylum seekers seeking to enter Australia by boat without a visa are sent to the Republic of Nauru (Nauru) or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to have their claims for refugee status processed. This factsheet serves an introduction to the Kaldor Centre’s series of publications on offshore processing.

Last updated: May 2017

Do boat turnbacks stack up? New Kaldor Centre Policy Brief evaluates EU and Australian policies in light of international law


Governments around the world are using militarised border-security missions to turn back asylum seekers at sea, but the strategy does not comply with international law and is not viable over the long-term, according to a new Policy Brief from UNSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.

To Close Camps, Australia Must Not Send Asylum Seekers Back to Danger

Professor Jane McAdam

First published in Refugees Deeply

Following reports of forced deportations from Manus Island, Jane McAdam, director of UNSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, explains why asylum seekers at the Australian-run offshore detention center have not had a fair chance of gaining refugee status.

Madeline Gleeson’s 'Offshore' Wins Literary Prize


Kaldor Centre Senior Research Associate Madeline Gleeson has taken out the prestigious 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction for her book 'Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru'.

Released to acclaim by NewSouth Publishing, 'Offshore' is a searing account of what has happened on the Pacific island nation of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island since Australia began its most recent offshore processing regime for asylum seekers in 2012.

Subscribe to Offshore processing