Australian public opinion on asylum

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Australia has a policy of deterring attempts by asylum seekers to reach
the country by boat. In 2001 and again in 2013 a policy of offshore
processing was implemented and since 2013 the government has
determined that no asylum seeker reaching Australia by boat will
be eligible for resettlement in Australia. In addition, current policy
provides for the turning back of boats at sea when it is safe to do so,
to maintain the integrity of the country’s borders. This article considers
Australian public attitudes to asylum policy. It finds that while there is
majority support for the right to seek asylum, in response to questions
on boat arrivals strong negative views outnumber the strong positive
by more than two to one. The findings also show that the young,
females, tertiary educated, financially better off and those born in the
United Kingdom are more likely oppose turning refugee boats back.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-447
Number of pages13
JournalMigration and development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Asylum, refugees, boat arrivals, public opinion, Australia

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