On this page you will find the ASRC’s publications and submissions.

The abolition of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal provides a critical opportunity for urgent reform to ensure fair and timely outcomes. However, the new legislation falls short of the reform required to fully remedy the dysfunction of the Tribunal.

Australia’s approach to refugees and people seeking asylum is critical to any discussion about multiculturalism. These settings dictate whether people can access safety, support, and family unity, and participate in Australian society.

Everyone deserves to live with dignity and in safety with their family. A federal Human Rights Charter (Charter) will make this a reality for everyone in Australia. The ASRC endorses the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report and recommendations regarding the Charter.

ASRC welcomes many aspects of the Draft National Platform. However, there are examples throughout the Draft National Platform of policies that not only fail to adhere to these principles but discriminate and deny people seeking asylum their human rights.

Australia has the ability to become an international leader in its humanitarian program. If the Albanese Government wants to establish a world-leading and successful humanitarian settlement system, it needs to not only welcome more refugees but ensure that the system is fair, efficient and humane.

We are a coalition of lawyers, trade unionists, service providers and advocacy groups with a shared commitment to addressing the effects of precarious and ‘permanently temporary’ visa status. We welcome this opportunity to contribute to the Joint Standing Committee’s review of the migration program.

The ASRC welcomes the opportunity from the Attorney-General’s Department to provide a submission on the development of specialised and trauma-informed legal services for victims and survivors of sexual assault. The specialisation of the ASRC legal program provides particular insight into the complex intersectional challenges on the subject.

There have been long-standing concerns regarding the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, especially in relation to political interference and protracted delays.Also, the poor quality of decision-making of the Immigration Assessment Authority, the limited review body under the unfair Fast Track process, has caused devastating outcomes for people seeking asylum.

Over the past decade, the Federal Government has largely withdrawn from its crucial role in providing a safety net to people seeking asylum in Australia. It was left to charities to fill this vacuum created by the government, but this will always be an insufficient approach. With the current rise in the cost of living leading to increased service delivery costs and decreased funding, the unsustainable has become untenable.

Recent Federal Governments have implemented regressive policies that have undermined Australia’s successful migration system. This has resulted in establishing a second-class of
Australian residents who are denied a fair and efficient pathway to permanency. Thousands of Australian residents are in limbo, unable to fulfil dreams for their families, denied their
basic rights and self-determination.

The following submission will explain how people seeking asylum are often subjected to poverty due to the restrictive and punitive visas they are forced onto. Denying men women and children, some of who have been in the community for years, access to work, study and mainstream social support. This amounts to forcing people seeking asylum into poverty by policy.

The Evacuation to Safety Bill is an opportunity for the Australian Government to demonstrate that leadership can be both humane and pragmatic. It is time for all refugees and people seeking asylum currently in Nauru and PNG to be evacuated in order to live in safety and access vital medical care in Australia whilst awaiting resettlement.

Australia’s migration system is geared towards temporary and precarious visa status. It is characterised
by delay, uncertainty and unnecessary complexity. Uncertain pathways to permanent residency mean that people living on visas in Australia spend longer and longer periods unable to reunite with their families, work or participate in community life on equal footing.

The ASRC welcomes the opportunity from the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services to provide a 2023-24 Pre-Budget submission informed by ASRC’s employment,  education, legal programs and frontline services, working with tens of thousands of people seeking asylum and refugees over two decades.

ASRC Submission - Employment White Paper

The ASRC welcomes the opportunity to submit to the Employment White Paper following the Jobs and Skills Summit. The following submission has been informed by ASRC’s employment, education and legal programs, working with tens of thousands of people seeking asylum and refugees over two decades. 

ASRC Submission - UN Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) visit to Australia

We work closely with people seeking asylum and refugees currently and previously held in Australia’s network of detention centres and people seeking asylum held offshore. Australia is failing its obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its Optional Protocol.

ASRC Submission - Migration Amendment Bill 2021

Overall, we believe there is no justification for the amendments proposed in the Bill, which seek only to serve a political agenda and will offer no greater protection or safety to the Australian community beyond what is already provided for in existing law. In light of the adverse implications for refugees, children and vulnerable persons which are explored in this submission, we urge the Committee to recommend that the Bill not be passed.

ASRC Submission - Ending Indefinite and Arbitrary Immigration Detention

We urge the Committee to accept the Ending Indefinite and Arbitrary Immigration Detention Bill 2021 in its entirety, and immediately end the indefinite and arbitrary detention of people seeking asylum and refugees. Our submission highlights a myriad of issues with Australia’s immigration..

Working for Victoria report

This report provides an evaluation of the impacts of the ASRC WfV. The evaluation research was conducted between May 2020 and March 2021. It assessed the impact of the Initiative for:
1) the individuals employed through the Initiative, 2) the ASRC as a not-for-profit organisation supporting people seeking asylum in Australia; and 3) the overall social value of the Initiative; as well as broader lessons learned for policy and practice.

ASRC Submission - Australia's Engagement in Afghanistan

Our submission highlights the comprehensive range of legislative and policy architecture that have worked to deliberately and permanently discriminate against, and punish, refugees from Afghanistan, especially those who arrived in Australia by boat. boat. This is also a story which is directly related to Australia’s engagement in Afghanistan and needs to be told in this Inquiry.

ASRC Submission - Migrant wait period, July 2021

The ASRC is concerned by the amendments raised in this Bill and we endorse the submissions of the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) submission and the Federation of Ethnic and Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) to this amendment. We strongly recommend that this Bill not be passed as it denies people in need access to critical support to raise their family and look after loved ones.

ASRC Submission - Mental Health Reform Engagement

The ASRC commends the Department of Health’s consultative process on the development of a Mental Health and Wellbeing Act, and is grateful for the opportunity to contribute through this submission. The overarching assurance of a rights-based, social determinants of health approach, and the advancement of a commitment to promoting conditions that reduce inequalities and ensure the…

ASRC Submission - Senate Inquiry on Courts and Tribunals

We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Legal and  Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee to the inquiry into the Courts and Tribunals Legislation Amendment (2021 Measure No. 1) Bill 2021 (the Inquiry). We work exclusively with people seeking asylum many of whom rely upon the integrity and independence of the merits review bodies, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the AAT) and the…

ASRC Submission - Senate Inquiry on Family Reunion

We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee on the Inquiry into the efficacy, fairness, timeliness and costs of the processing
and granting of visa classes which provide for or allow for family and partner reunions (the Inquiry). We work with people seeking asylum and refugees, many of whom desperately wish…

COVID-19: One year on

In normal times, people seeking asylum are among the most vulnerable in our community; many cannot access Centrelink, Medicare, or other social security benefits that allow them to live independently in the community. This already challenging environment was exacerbated by COVID-19. After March, the pandemic exposed people to even greater risk of destitution and loss.

ASRC Submission - Information Disclosure Strengthening Bill

We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee on the Migration and Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Information Provisions Bill 2020 (the Bill). The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is an independent, not for profit organisation working to support and empower people seeking asylum in…

ASRC Submission - Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence

We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the House of representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs ‘Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence’. We work with people seeking asylum, most of whom hold bridging visas and are therefore ineligible for most forms of social support including COVID-19 safety nets, many of whom also face the double disadvantage of being victims of family and sexual violence.

ASRC Submission - Temporary Migration

ASRC submission - Temporary Migration

Submission to the inquiry into and report on the impact temporary migration has on the Australian economy, wages and jobs, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions. The ASRC is deeply concerned about the impact of temporary migration in relation to people seeking asylum and refugees. Much of our work is supporting people who arrived in Australia by sea in 2012-2013…

ASRC Submission to the Immigration (Education) Amendment

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to this important inquiry. The ASRC is supportive of the Bill and recommends it is passed. The ASRC is supportive of the aims and functions of the Bill to increase access to funded English language classes for new and prospective migrants to Australia.

ASRC Submission - Prohibited Items Bill 2020

ASRC submission - Prohibited Items Bill 2020

ASRC’s submission to the Senate Committee on the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020 raises alarm on human rights abuses that will result from extended search, seizure and screening powers without a warrant that the amendment would give authorised officers in immigration detention.

Migration Amendment (Repairing Medical Transfers) Bill 2019

A repeal of the Medevac transfer process would prevent acutely unwell refugees and people seeking asylum in Papua New Guinea and Nauru from being able to access a non-political medical triage process to facilitate their transfer to Australia for medical treatment which cannot be provided in Papua New Guinea or Nauru. If the Bill is passed, preventable deaths and permanent injuries will very likely occur.

ASRC Submission - Select Committee Covid19

ASRC submission - Select Committee Covid19

We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the Select Committee on COVID-19. In times of normality, people seeking asylum are one of the most vulnerable groups in our community, as many do not have access to Centrelink, Medicare and other social security benefits that allow them to live independently in the community.

Inquiry on Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2019

This Bill would put refugees at risk of refoulement, result in arbitrary and disproportionate visa cancellation decisions that will create great hardship to visa holders and affected Australians. Children, young adults and vulnerable people with capacity issues would be particularly affected  under this Bill and family violence victims would be at higher risk of consequential visa cancellation.

The Impact of Cuts to Status Resolution Support Services

Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) is a safety net for vulnerable people seeking asylum who are excluded from mainstream support services in Australia. Over the past two years, the government has cut its budget for the SRSS safety net by 60%, putting thousands of people at risk of compounded poverty, deteriorating health and homelessness. 

Visit to Manus

In November 2017, three members of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre visited the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea. The visit was prompted by the events of 31 October 2017 when the Turnbull Government ordered all staff and personnel to abandon 606 men in the detention centre.

Right Track Conversations

We’re having powerful conversations and taking local action to shift community attitudes and advocate for safety, fairness and freedom for people seeking asylum.

Read our conversation report. The first statewide report capturing the views of over 1000 people across every federal VIC electorate in Victoria and two in the ACT on the asylum process. 

Volunteers at the ASRC

Volunteers make up the bulk of the ASRC’s workforce, numbering over 1200 and undertaking a variety of roles in 30 different programs. A survey of volunteers was carried out to allow the ASRC Volunteer Program to capture volunteer voices and insights.

Publication cover: Australia's Man-Made Crisis on Nauru: six years on

Australia's man-made crisis

Six years after the Australian government began sending people seeking asylum to Nauru, there are still around 900 people left on the island, including 109 children. This ASRC and Refugee Council report brings together six years of evidence of trauma and abuse and a comprehensive picture of the current intensifying crisis people held on Nauru live through under Australia’s offshore processing policy.

Words that work: making the best case for people seeking asylum

Words that Work

In 2015, the ASRC decided we needed to find a better way to talk about people seeking asylum. We commissioned a multi-phase research project to uncover and test the ways we can put forward the most compelling case for a more humane approach to people seeking asylum. The result was an incredible piece of research and recommendations.

Christmas island aerial

The Forgotten Men of Christmas Island

In August 2016 Pamela Curr, from ASRC, and Sr Brigid Arthur, from the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, travelled to Christmas Island to visit the men seeking asylum, who are currently held in the detention centre, more than 2600 kilometres from the nearest capital city, Perth.

Publication cover: At what cost? The human and economic cost of Australia's offshore detention policies 2019

At what cost? The human and economic cost of Australia’s offshore detention policies 2019

The ASRC, Save the Children and Getup commissioned a report to update the economic costs of offshore detention projected over the next three years.