Main Navigation

Fact vs. fiction

Asylum seekers and refugees: fact vs fiction

Understand the facts about asylum seekers and refugees and help dispel myths
and misunderstandings.

Each year, millions of people are forced to flee their homes to seek protection from persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinions.

There is much misunderstanding in the community about why and how people seek protection, and what happens once they arrive here. This has led to negative stereotypes, the development of many myths and a belief that asylum seekers arriving by boat are acting illegally.

Because of this, asylum seekers are not only one of the most vulnerable groups in Australia, but also one of the most marginalised.

So before you form your opinion, learn the facts, not the fiction.

Get the facts

© Stephen Ryan / IFRC

What's the difference between an asylum seeker, a refugee and a migrant?
Are people who seek asylum and come to Australia by boat 'illegal'?
Does Australia have more asylum claims than other countries?

Understand the facts about asylum seekers and refugees and help dispel myths and misunderstandings.

Get the facts

Take the quiz

How much do you know about asylum seekers and refugees?

Asylum seekers in Australia is a topic that everyone has an opinion on, but how many people know the facts?

See what you know about the issue in our interactive quiz and discover whether your opinion is based on fact - or the fiction.

Take the quiz

Experience the journey: And then I was a refugee... 

Walk in the shoes of a Somalian villager forced to leave their home and make life or death decisions in this interactive app created by Australian Red Cross.

And then I was a refugee... takes you on a journey made by asylum seekers and refugees every day.

Understand the situations they face and the choices they must make in your own interactive experience.

Download the app for free:

Download for iOS Download for Android

Hear the stories 

Understand the issues faced by asylum seekers from those who know the most.

Read stories and watch videos about the real experiences faced by asylum seekers and refugees in our community.

Learn about the situations they faced, the reasons they left their home countries and the challenges of building a new life here in Australia.

Hear the stories

Listen to the Life in Australia podcast

 Life in Australia artwork

A podcast for young people with asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds living in Australia.

If you've recently moved to Australia as a refugee or someone seeking protection, then this is the podcast for you. In each episode of Life In Australia, you'll hear the stories from young people who've been in the same situation as you.

Listen now

Find out more

For more information about asylum seekers and refugees, visit:

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Refugee Council of Australia 

Australian Human Rights Commission 

Department of Immigration

Go back to where you came from

Find out how Red Cross and SBS 'Go Back To Where You Came From' teamed up to look at the facts about seeking asylum in Australia.

Watch the video