Main behind wire fence

Detention Rights Advocacy

What does the Detention Rights Advocacy Program (Drap) do?

The Detention Rights Advocacy Program (DRAP) provides trauma-informed, remote and phone-based support to people seeking asylum and refugees in Nauru and PNG, and onshore in a limited capacity.

DRAP provides a critical lifeline to people – including assessment, information, referrals, advocacy, emotional support and crisis response through Triage and case management services. DRAP writes welfare notifications, provides referrals to legal and mental health services and advocates for access to vital medical treatment, and release from detention. DRAP advocates for the medical evacuation of people from offshore detention to Australia, and supports people to engage in resettlement pathways to a safe third country. DRAP monitors conditions of detention, and documents human rights abuses.

ASRC’s mission is to end mandatory, arbitrary and indefinite detention and offshore detention so that people can live safely, with their human rights and dignity upheld, and rebuild their lives.

Which ASRC department does Drap sit in?

2023 saw the creation of the Detention Casework Policy Lead role, and DRAP moved to the Systemic Change, Campaigns, Advocacy & Marketing department, providing detention input into all of ASRC’s lobbying, advocacy, campaigns and policy work. Working alongside refugees and the refugee movement, this contributed to the medical evacuation of almost all people seeking asylum and refugees on Nauru in June 2023, their release from onshore detention into the Australian community, the resettlement of more than 100 people to New Zealand, Canada and the USA, and a reduction on the numbers of people held in PNG.

A historical snapshot of Drap

Since its inception, the ASRC has advocated for the rights of people seeking asylum and refugees in detention.

In 2018-19, DRAP successfully aligned with refugees and sector partners to campaign for and coordinate the safe transfer of 109 children in detention on Nauru, and helped establish the Medevac legislation which provided a clear pathway for people in offshore detention to receive urgent medical treatment in Australia. Of the 273 people approved under Medevac for urgent medical care in Australia, our DRAP team helped facilitate the transfer of approximately 200 people to Australia before the law was repealed in December 2019.

In 2020-22 our work included advocating for the release of the Medevac cohort from onshore detention facilities including APODS, and highlighting the additional risks posed by COVID-19 to people in detention. Almost all were released in 2022, and until January 2023 DRAP had a dedicated caseworker providing intensive support to 150+ people to support their transition, acculturation and settlement into the Australian community by providing referrals for housing, aid, legal, employment assistance, health, mental health services and care coordination.

How can people in detention contact Drap?

The DRAP Triage service runs Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. To access DRAP support, people seeking asylum and refugees in detention can message DRAP Triage, (preferably through What’s app), on +61 426 679 247. Please note – this is not an emergency service.

How can individuals and organisations contact Drap?

For all other enquiries from individuals and organisations, please email: