Research Reports and Publications

Since 2003, the Edmund Rice Centre has published a number of reports as part of our Deported to Danger research project. 

These reports have been provided to the Federal Government and the United Nations:

- 2015 - Failed Asylum Seekers: Sri Lanka - Research Update 2

- 2014 - Failed Asylum Seekers: Sri Lanka - Intermin Report

- 2006 - Deported to Danger II

- 2004 - Deported to Danger

- 2003 - No Liability

- 2003 - Background Briefing on False Passport Allegations

Failed asylum seekers: Sri Lanka -- Research Update 2, May 2015  

Since 2003 the Edmund Rice Centre has maintained a program of systematic research to uncover what happens to the asylum seekers rejected by Australia. A key focal area of that work in recent years has been the situation of failed asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.

ERC's published an Interim Research Update on deportations to Sri Lanka in Aug 2014. Many other reports up to that time recounted the mistreatment of failed asylum seekers of Tamil background. However ERC's report provided evidence that upon their return to Sri Lanka, failed asylum seekers of Sinhalese background have also suffered cruel and degrading treatment. Additionally, the mistreatment reported has not been restricted to those who have been involuntarily returned.

ERC Deportations Research May 2015 Update provides evidence from two recent cases of which we are currently able to report publicly. The two cases have in common the following elements which disturbingly, contradict Australian officials' claims that it is safe for Tamil asylum seekers to return:-

  • Prior to their removal both men had informed Australian officials that they were suspected of having links to the LTTE;
  • When they were disbelieved or their fears were trivialised, they were returned to face interrogations with torture about the same matters: 
    • the details of their escape by boat to Australia, 
    • what they said to Australian officials, and 
    • which LTTE members they met or knew in Australia;
    • Both have credible evidence as to the effects of the torture they have suffered.

Download ERC Deportations Research Update 2: Returnees to Sri Lanka May 2015

Failed asylum seekers: Sri Lanka -- Interim Research Update, August 2014 

Through its Deportations Research program the Edmund Rice Centre has since 2002 conducted considerable research to determine what happens to the asylum seekers that Australia rejects. That research has to date seen the publication of two major reports. 

Out of grave concern formed from revelations of the ongoing and systemic mistreatment of asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka, evidence collected by ERC is made available here in this Interim Research Update in the form of the following case note summaries. 

Reports of the dangers faced by returned asylum seekers to Sri Lanka have largely been limited to those with a Tamil background. The Edmund Rice Centre can report that failed asylum seekers also of Sinhalese background have suffered cruel and degrading treatment on their return to Sri Lanka. Mistreatment is not restricted to those who are involuntarily returned. 

In 2014, these allegations are borne out in a number cases of returned failed asylum-seekers in the entire period since the UN Committee Against Torture expressed concerns in 2011.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia is well aware that those charged in Sri Lanka under S45C of the country's Immigrants and Emigrants Act may be held without bail for an indefinite period of time.  This ERC Interim Research Update confirms that a practice of indefinite detention is being systematically conducted by Sri Lanka.

Download ERC Interim Research Update: Returnees to Sri Lanka August 2014 


Deported to Danger II - September 2006

Deported to Danger II - The Continuing Study of Australia's Treatment of Rejected Asylum Seekers - September 2006

Download here. 


Deported To Danger - September 2004

Deported to Danger - A Study of Australia's Treatment of 40 Rejected Asylum Seekers.

Download here.  


Deported To Danger - No Liability - October 2003

No Liability - Tragic Results from Australia's Deportations (Interim Report).

Download here.


Download - Background Briefing on False Passport Allegations - October 2003

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