The Australian Goverment's approach to asylum seekers since the Australian Labor Party introduced mandatory detention in 1992 has been increasingly harsh and punitive. Legally, asylum seekers are dealt with under the 1958 Migration Act, which incorporates Australia's obligations as a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Since the influx of Asian asylum seekers in the 1970s the Act has been systematically politicised.
Coghlan, J. 2005, ''In their Voice - Experiences of Australia''s Mandatory Detention Policies'', Seeking Refuge: Asylum Seekers and Politics in a Globalising World, 1 edn, University of Wollongong Press, Broadway NSW. pp. 81