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Edmund Rice Centre

15 Henley Rd
(PO Box 2219)
Homebush West,
NSW 2140

Ph:  (02) 8762 4200
Fx:  (02) 8762 4220

Int'l Ph: +61 2 8762 4200
Int'l Fx: +61 2 8762 4220


Located just 100 metres to the south of Flemington Railway Station. Link to new location on Google Maps

Brisbane Annexe

5 Abingdon St
(Postal: 84 Park Rd)
QLD 4102

Ph 1: (07) 3103 7376
Ph 2: (02) 8090 1976
Fax: (02) 8762 4220

Staffed part-time
 - please call for appt


media releases publications research submissions resources ERC event photos

ERC Deportations Research - Deported to Danger - Research Reports / Publications

ERC Deportation Research - Index

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

Sri Lanka: Australia continues to deport people to danger  

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

Interim Report Update - Sri Lanka Returnees Failed asylum seekers: Sri Lanka -- Interim Reseach Update, Aug 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 Aug2014

Deported to Danger II - Download Report - .pdf - 70 pages - 1.17MB Deported To Danger - Research Reports / Publications Summary



Deported to Danger II

Deporter to Danger II - The Continuing Study of Australia's Treatment of Rejected Asylum Seekers

- September 2006

Download .pdf - 70 pages - 1.17MB


Deported to Danger - Download Report - .pdf - 63 pages - 747KB Deported To Danger - Research Reports / Publications Summary



Deported to Danger

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

- September 2004

Download .pdf - 63 pages - 747KB

No Liability - Download Report - .pdf - 14 pages - 269KB Deported To Danger - Research Reports / Publications Summary



No Liability

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

- October 2003

Download No Liability - .pdf - 14 pages - 269KB

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Recent Publications from ERC

Asylum Seekers - Schools Resource

ERC Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource Student Activities


ERC's publication Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource provides activities for students which are practical, engaging and focused on increasing awareness about human rights and advocacy. 

This 60 page resource is available for download at no cost, and offers 35 cross-curricular activities, adaptable to all year levels in secondary school. Some activities can also be used with primary classes, with students with special needs, and with community groups.

Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, to move their understanding from the head to the heart.

Read more 

Donate to support ERC's work

URGENT! Support our work for asylum seekers.

Update: ERC Director, Phil Glendenning, recently returned to Australia from Afghanistan after 10 days interviewing returned asylum seekers again in Kabul.

ERC is redoubling our efforts to find a third-country resettlement option for those returnees from Australia with whom we have been able to make contact. We need financial support to achieve this.

Such work uncovers high levels of risk for the deportees (and for our researchers). Research publications are available here.

Listen to Phil speak of the visit to ABC Radio National's Phillip Adams.

Please donate now so that this work may continue. Your donation is tax deductible!

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