Australia is unique in its approach to asylum seekers. No other country mandates the closed and indefinite detention of children of unlawful, non-citizens. Children may also remain in indefinite detention if a parent has an adverse security finding made against them. This occurs despite Australia’s international human rights obligations. Globally, political and social unrest have highlighted issues that create an intersection between international and national law, human rights, mental health, women’s and children’s health. This article series aims to consider the interdisciplinary factors of children and mothers in immigration detention in coming to Australia. In spite of this focus on Australia, there are important implications for global health.