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Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Use of force in immigration detention


Statement on Christmas Island immigration detention

The Australian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned that the Australian Border Force plans to re-open the immigration detention facility at Christmas Island.

The Commission has carried out inspections of Australia's onshore and offshore immigration detention facilities for many years. The Commission's advice has been consistent: Christmas Island is not an appropriate place for an immigration detention facility. 

Blanket bans would be unacceptable

During lockdown, many of us – myself included – have become even more reliant on our mobile phones. They have kept us in contact with parents, children and grandchildren, our colleagues and friends during this difficult time.

Blanket ban on mobile phones would be unacceptable

The Australian Human Rights Commission has raised concerns about new proposals to amend the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), which would unreasonably limit a range of human rights for all people in immigration detention.

The Commission has made a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, on the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020.

Migration Amendment (Repairing Medical Transfers) Bill 2019

Human Rights Commissioner
Edward Santow


23 September 2019


Senator Amanda Stoker


Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

By email:

Dear Chair

Thomas Keneally's lecture on Australia’s race relations legacy

This year’s Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture was given by award-winning author Thomas Keneally AO, one of Australia's best known and most prolific writers and an Ambassador for the Asylum Seeker Centre.

The lecture, entitled ‘The Moveable Feast – Australia and race hate as experienced in the lifetime as an observer’ explored the history of race relations in Australia as seen through the author’s eyes over the last several decades.

Mr IB and Mr IC v Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Home Affairs) (2019)


Mr BP, Ms BQ and Miss BR v Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Home Affairs) (2019)


Use of force in immigration detention

Fourteen complaints about the use of force in immigration detention form the basis for a comprehensive thematic report by the Australian Human Rights Commission tabled in Parliament

The report considers the practices of handcuffing detainees, use of physical force within centres including arm and elbow locks, operations conducted by the Emergency Response Team (ERT), and the use of face masks.