1st Edition

Regulating Refugee Protection Through Social Welfare Law, Policy and Praxis

Edited By Peter Billings Copyright 2023
    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book analyses the use and abuse of social welfare as a means of border control for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

    Offering an unparalleled critique of the regulation and deterrence of protection seekers via the denial or depletion of social welfare supports, the book includes contributions from legal scholars, social scientists, behavioural scientists, and philosophers, in tandem with the critical insights and knowledge supplied by refugees. It is organised in three parts, each framed by a commentary that serves as an introduction, as well as offering pertinent comparative perspectives from Europe. Part One comprises three chapters: a rights-based analysis of Australia’s ‘hostile environment’ for protection seekers; a searing critique of welfare policing of asylum seekers as ‘necropolitics’; and a unique philosophical perspective that grounds scrutiny of Australia’s policing of asylum seekers. Part Two contains five chapters that uncover and explore the lived experiences and adverse impacts of different social welfare restrictions for refugee protection seekers. Finally, the chapters in Part Three offer distinct views on human rights advocacy movements and methods, and the scope for resistance and change to the status quo.

    This book will appeal to an international, as well as an Australian, readership with interests in the areas of human rights, immigration and refugee law, social welfare law/policy, social work, and public health.

    Part One: Context and Critique


    Vanessa Barker

    1. Regulating refugee through welfare: Australia’s hostile response to unauthorized maritime arrivals

    Peter Billings

    2. The welfare policing of asylum seekers as necropolitics

    Leanne Weber

    3. Spectres of subjugation/inter-subjugation/resubjugation of people seeking asylum: the kyriarchal system in Australia’s necropoleis

    Claudia Tazreiter, Omid Tofighian with Behrooz Boochani

    Part Two: The Depletion of Social Welfare for Refugees – Impacts and Experiences


    Lucy Mayblin

    4. ‘I wanted to make a future, but now, I lost everything’: Australia’s inhospitable deterrence regime for people seeking asylum

    John van Kooy and Asher Hirsch

    5. The growing challenge of precarious housing and homelessness for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia

    Emma Fell

    6. Financial precarity and health for temporary refugee and asylum-seeking visa holders in Australia

    Moira Walsh, Clemence Due and Anna Ziersch

    7. The triumvirate of refoulement: how asylum seekers negotiate welfare conditionality, behavioural scrutiny, and short-term visas

    Hanne Worsoe and Greg Marston

    8. Asylum seekers, healthcare, and the right to have rights: The political struggle over Australia’s ‘medevac’ law

    David Neil and Michelle Peterie

    Part Three: Protecting and Promoting Respect for Refugees’ Human Rights


    Margaret Greenfields

    9. Social welfare paradoxes for asylum seekers: Challenges for human rights

    Linda Briskman

    10. ‘I spoke the truth about myself and that’s when you can connect with people’: Advocacy within the political system in response to living on a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa

    Caroline Fleay Mary Anne Kenny, Atefeh Andaveh, Salem Askari, Rohullah Hassani, Kate


    Peter Billings is a Professor in the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland, Australia. He teaches Administrative Law and, Immigration and Refugee Law, and has published widely on public law, refugee law, human rights and ‘crimmigration’. He is the editor of Crimmigration in Australia: Law, Politics and Society (2019).