Australia has a long history of successfully resettling refugees and humanitarian entrants who have been forced to flee from their country, however in recent years our treatment of asylum seekers has been under a spotlight. Controversial policies include offshore processing and harsh mandatory immigration detention, restricted community detention, resettling refugees in other countries, and temporary protection visas which leave people in limbo for years. Although there have been no boat arrivals in the last few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically curtailed an already limited intake of refugees. The legacy caseload of boat arrivals has also created challenges, leaving over 30,000 people living in the community who have made applications for protection visas, but are left on bridging visas for several years, with some work rights, but no access to Centrelink, or the right to study.
What is the experience of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia? Does Australia fully comply with its international obligations under the Refugee Convention, including humane reception conditions and a fair, efficient and transparent system for processing asylum claims?