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Australian Refugee Foundation
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Australia's focus on deterrence challenged in global forum

RCOA has challenged the Australian Government's promotion of its "regional deterrence network" as governments, NGOs and international bodies gather in Geneva for a global dialogue on protection at sea. Read more here.

Asylum laws will fast-track vulnerable people to danger

The passage of the Australian Government's asylum legislation is a shattering blow for asylum seekers who face the grave risk of being returned to danger. Read more here.

PM urged to remove all children from immigration detention

RCOA has written to the Prime Minister urging him to remove children from immigration detention facilities in Australia and Nauru. Read more here.

Housing issues for refugees and asylum seekers

RCOA has released a new report on challenges and alternatives in sustainable housing for refugees and asylum seekers. Read it here.

UN Committee takes aim at Asylum Legacy Caseload Bill

Cross-bench Senators have been urged to take note of a report from one of the UN's foremost authorities on the prevention of torture. Read more here.

End to resettlement from Indonesia adds insult to injury

Australia's refusal to resettle refugees who sought protection in Indonesia after June 2014 will cement Australia's reputation as a bad neighbour. Read more here.

Temporary Protection Visas will separate families indefinitely

RCOA has highlighted the devastating impact of the Australian Government's proposed Temporary Protection Visas in forcing the indefinite separation of families. Read more here.

Australia must stop returns following torture of asylum seeker

RCOA president Phil Glendenning has again pleaded with the Department of Immigration to halt forcible returns of asylum seekers to Afghanistan. Read more here.

Governments challenged to end neglect of African crises

Delegates from 94 nations including Australia have been challenged to end the global neglect of Africa's 15 million displaced people. Read more here.

Australia urged to take more constructive response to global refugee crises

The crises in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic and South Sudan and efforts to eliminate statelessness will dominate discussions at a key UNHCR meeting. Read more here.

Punishment not protection for refugees sent to Cambodia

The agreement to be signed this week between Australia and Cambodia to resettle refugees from Nauru will leave refugees at further risk. Read more here.

Australia ignores UN call for action on statelessness

As the world commemorates the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Statelessness Convention, stateless people in Australia have little to celebrate. Read more here.

Refugee Welcome Zone initiative reaches its century

RCOA's Refugee Welcome Zone initiative has reached a milestone with more than 100 councils signing on. Read more here.

National Party's call for more refugee places a positive step

RCOA has backed calls by the Government's Coalition partner the National Party for an expanded Refugee and Humanitarian Program. Read more here.

Australia must step up to support Syrian refugees

News that the number of Syrian refugees has passed three million confirms that Australia's decision to cut its refugee program could not have come at a worse time, says RCOA. Read more here.

No excuse for ongoing detention of children

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has failed to offer an adequate justification for the ongoing detention of children on Christmas Island and Nauru, says RCOA. Read more here.

Efforts to return Syrian refugees unconscionable

RCOA is alarmed by media reports that Syrian asylum seekers detained on Manus Island are being pressured by Australian Government officials to return home. Read more here.

Government removes Refugee Council's core funding

The Australian Government has completely cut core funding to RCOA despite allocating $140,000 just two weeks ago in its 2014-15 Budget. Read more here.

Federal Budget summary 2014-15

RCOA has released a summary of refugee-related spending in the 2014-15 Federal Budget. Read more here.
 

'I am grateful to Australia for having allowed me to do what I love.'

Actor Henri Szeps was born in a Swiss refugee camp after his parents fled Poland in the shadow of the looming German invasion.

 

Statistics on Australia's current Refugee and Humanitarian Program

Note: There may be some inconsistencies between the following tables due to variations in the data sources used.

Permanent additions to the resident population by eligibility category, 2002-03 to 2011-12

Year Family Skill Special Eligibility Non-Program Migration* Humanitarian Total Humanitarian as % of total
2002-03 40,105 56,782 1,191 17,597 10,185 125,860 8.1%
2003-04 42,187 74,850 937 19,972 12,046 149,992 8.0%
2004-05 43,747 81,893 439 23,712 17,528 167,319 10.5%
2005-06 45,943 91,501 301 25,098 16,964 179,807 9.4%
2006-07 48,769 98,918 163 29,899 14,158 191,907 7.4%
2007-08 50,680 107,469 143 35,919 11,729 205,940 5.7%
2008-09 56,477 118,415 233 34,640 14,854 224,619 6.6%
2009-10 59,453 108,300 654 25,961 14,553 208,921 7.0%
2010-11 54,708 107,656 653 36,416 13,976 213,409 6.5%
2011-12 59,620 123,820 880 46,330 14,620 245,270 6.0%
Total 501,689 969,604 5,594 295,544 140,613 1,913,044 7.4%
*People who migrated without visas (predominantly New Zealanders)

Refugee and Humanitarian Program visa grants by stream,
2007-08 to 2011-12

Year Refugee Special
Humanitarian
Program
Total
Offshore
Onshore Grand
Total
2007-08 6,004 5,026 11,030 1,984 13,014
2008-09 6,499 4,511 11,085 2,422 13,507
2009-10 6,003 3,244 9,247 4,523 13,770
2010-11 5,998 2,981 8,979 4,820 13,799
2011-12 6,004 714 6,718 7,041 13,759
Total 30,508 16,476 47,059 20,790 67,849

Refugee and Humanitarian Program visa applications, 2007-08 to 2011-12

Year Applications for offshore (resettlement) visas Applications for onshore (protection) visas Total
Refugee Visa applications SHP Visa applications Total offshore applications Protection Visa applications
(non-IMAs*)
Protection requests
from IMAs*
Total onshore applications
2007-08 12,880 34,451 47,331 3,986 21 4,007 102,676
2008-09 12,453 34,457 46,910 5,072 690 5,762 105,344
2009-10 12,552 34,570 47,122 5,987 4,591 10,578 115,400
2010-11 29,795 24,448 54,243 6,316 5,175 11.491 131,654
2011-12 19,739 23,081 42,820 7,036 7,379 14,415 114,470
Total 87,419 151,007 238,572 28,418 17,855 46,273 569,544

*Irregular Maritime Arrivals, ie. asylum seekers who arrived by boat.

Refugee and Humanitarian visa grants by sub-class, 2007-08 to 2011-12

Visa sub-class 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Total
Offshore Refugee visas
Refugee (visa subclass 200) 5,132 5,653 5,173 5,211 5,140 26,309
In-country Special Humanitarian (201) 42 54 24 26 43 189
Emergency Rescue (203) 5 4 - 2 - 11
Woman at Risk (204) 819 788 806 759 821 3,993
Secondary Movement Relocation -
Temporary (451)
6 - -   - 6
Offshore Special Humanitarian visas
Global Special Humanitarian (202) 4,795 4,511 3,233 2,973 714 16,226
202 visas granted by
ministerial intervention
231 75 11 8 2 327
Onshore Protection visas
Onshore Temporary Protection (785) 196 9 - - - 205
Resolution of Status (851) - 39 8 2 1 50
Onshore Permanent Protection (866) 1,704 2,369 4,515 4,818 7038 20,444
Temporary Humanitarian Concern (786) 84 5 - - - 89
Total 13,014 13,507 13,770 13,799 13,759 67,849

Top five countries of origin for Humanitarian entrants by visa stream, 2007-08 to 2011-12

Visa class 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Refugee Burma Burma Burma Burma Burma
Iraq Iraq Bhutan Iraq Iraq
Afghanistan Bhutan Iraq Bhutan Bhutan
DR Congo DR Congo DR Congo DR Congo Afghanistan
Burundi Somalia Ethiopia Afghanistan DR Congo
Special
Humanitarian
Iraq Iraq Iraq Iraq Afghanistan
Sudan Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan Iraq
Afghanistan Sudan Sierra Leone Sri Lanka Ethiopia
Burma Sierra Leone Sudan Sudan Iran
Liberia Liberia Liberia Iran Somalia
Onshore
Protection
Sri Lanka China Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan
China Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Iran Iran
Iraq Afghanistan China Stateless Stateless
Pakistan Zimbabwe Iraq Sri Lanka Iraq
Iran Iraq Iran Iraq Sri Lanka

Refugee and humanitarian entrants by state or territory of settlement,
2007-08 to 2011-12

State/territory % national popn 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Total
Australian Capital Territory 1.65% 180
(1.9%)
188
(1.6%)
119
(1.2%)
144
(1.6%)
49
(0.7%)
680
(1.4%)
New South Wales 32.14% 2,958 (31.1%) 4,151 (35.6%) 3,180 (32.2%) 2,979 (30.6%) 1,727
(22.8%)
14,813
(30.5%)
Northern Territory 1.04% 94
(1.0%)
108
(0.9%)
103
(1.0%)
75
(0.8%)
68
(0.9%)
448
(0.9%)
Queensland 20.10% 976 (10.3%) 1,159 (10.0%) 1,284 (13.0%) 1,354 (14.8%) 1,262
(16.7%)
6,035
(13.0%)
South Australia 7.30% 835
(8.8%)
1,013 (8.7%) 952
(9.7%)
1,144 (12.5%) 1,123
(14.9%)
5,067
(10.9%)
Tasmania 2.26% 237
(2.5%)
303
(2.6%)
399
(4.0%)
359
(3.9%)
319
(4.2%)
1,617
(3.4%)
Victoria 24.79% 2,787 (29.3%) 3,035 (26.1%) 2,670 (27.1%) 2,440 (26.7%) 2,234
(29.60%)
13,166
(27.8%)
Western Australia 10.71% 1,440 (15.1%) 1,688 (14.5%) 1,149 (11.7%) 817
(8.9%)
751
(9.9%)
5,845
(12.0%)
Total 9,507 11,645 9,856 9,130 7,533 47,671

Sources

Australian Bureau of Statistics' Australian Demographic Statistics Department of Immigration and Citizenship Settlement Reporting Database, http://www.immi.gov.au/settlement

Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Reports http://www.immi.gov.au/about/reports/annual

Department of Immigration and Citizenship annual publications Asylum Trends, Immigration Update and Settler Arrivals, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/statistics

Some statistics supplied on request by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

 

Last updated February 2013