AHRC: Department of Immigration broke international law

THE Department of Immigration is guilty of having broken international law when it locked up eight adults and a boy who were proven to be legitimate refugees, after Australia's spy agency ASIO labelled them a security risk.

The government-funded Australian Human Rights Commission tabled its findings to Parliament on Wednesday.

Under the former Labor government, a mother and child were eventually released from detention after ASIO changed its tune on her security risk, allowing her to be with her son.

For the other six, ASIO did not consider whether they could be kept in the community while they waited for their security assessments.

Because this ASIO advice was backed by the government, it is the government that is in the wrong.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison was told to consider having asylum seekers in the community even if ASIO suspects a security risk, that the department suggest other ways to hold asylum seekers if labelled as a security risk.

The AHRC also asked the Minister to look into keeping asylum seekers out of detention, potentially by sending them to a foreign country.

According to the AHRC, the minister rejected all but that final recommendation, which was "noted".