Main behind wire fence

Detention Rights Advocacy

The ASRC’s Detention Rights Advocacy program works with people seeking asylum in onshore and offshore detention to provide emotional support, information about the complexities of Australia’s policies, and to make referrals to legal services and others who can help.

Where it’s in the individual’s interest to do so, after obtaining legal advice, we support people seeking asylum to speak with the media safely, to make sure their voices are heard and the injustices affecting them become known. We seek to strengthen people’s voices for self-advocacy, and to be their voice when they need us to be. We work closely with the sector to campaign for the closure of offshore detention, and for everyone to be brought to Australia immediately.

The program currently has 81 active clients in detention across Australia and in Nauru and Manus, and comprises a Detention Advocacy Manager, Natasha Blucher and two volunteers.

Onshore detention advocacy

We advocate directly to Australian Border Force about emerging issues in detention and help escalate complaints in order to hold detention authorities to account when they act in an abusive or unfair way.

Offshore detention advocacy

We provide support and assistance to people over the phone in Nauru and Manus. Our work ranges from advocacy for medical treatment for people with serious and sometimes life-threatening illnesses, to providing legal support and connecting them to services that exist to support them in that environment. Often most importantly, we listen when they are afraid, and document what is happening to them in sometimes harmful environments.

If you would like to learn more about our work around detention advocacy or are seeking a comment, please contact Natasha Blucher at natasha.b@asrc.org.au