I am in immigration detention in Australia. Can UNHCR assist me?

As part of UNHCR’s mandate for the protection of asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons, UNHCR regularly monitors places of detention and speaks to persons in held detention.

Where appropriate, UNHCR will seek to raise concerns with the Government of Australia regarding the detention of persons under its mandate. The Australian Government is solely responsible for issuing visas and releasing persons from detention.  

If you are an asylum-seeker, refugee or stateless person in detention in Australia, you can contact us via telephone on (02) 6281 9100 or email: [email protected] 

Free legal advice and assistance

UNHCR would encourage asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons to seek the assistance of a legal representative regarding their detention. You can find a list of free legal service providers by visiting UNHCR’s free legal help page.

Mental health support services

Detention, especially for protracted periods of time, can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental health. A list of free counselling services for persons in detention can be accessed by visiting the following UNHCR webpage.

How can I complain?

If you would like to lodge a complaint regarding detention conditions, contact the Australian Human Rights Commission or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Australian Human Rights Commission

  • Phone: 1300 656 419 (local call) or (02) 9284 9888
  • TTY: 1800 620 241 (toll free)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • More information on how to make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission can be found here.

Commonwealth Ombudsman

  • Phone: 1300 362 072 (calls from mobile phones at mobile phone rates)
  • SMS: 0413 266 662 (standard carrier rates apply)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • More information on how to make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman can be found here.

Related Information

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