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Australian Refugee Foundation
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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.

Australian Parliament must reject cruel Temporary Protection Visas

RCOA has written to Federal cross-bench parliamentarians, urging them to reject the Abbott Government's renewed push to force refugees on to Temporary Protection Visas. 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.

Grave fears for asylum seeker forcibly returned to Afghanistan

News that the Australian Government has forcibly repatriated an Afghan asylum seeker has been met with alarm by 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.

Time to end detention of children once and for all

RCOA welcomed the announcement that children would be moved out of closed detention on the mainland but expressed concern about children remaining in detention on Christmas Island and Nauru. Read more here.

Government must stop deception and do more to protect Iraqis

The Australian Government must stop trying to deceive Australians about its recent cuts to the Refugee and Humanitarian Program and start acting to increase protection options for Iraqi and Syrian refugees. Read more here.

Welfare system review needs greater focus on humanitarian entrants

The Federal Government review of Australia's welfare system must pay more attention to addressing barriers faced by refugees and humanitarian entrants. 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.

UN High Commissioner criticises Australia's 'strange' obsession with boats

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has described as "very strange" Australia's obsession with deterring asylum seekers who arrive by boat. Read more here.

Cambodian NGOs unite in opposition to Australia's refugee deal

RCOA has welcomed a joint statement issued by a coalition of 21 Cambodian NGOs who oppose the planned refugee resettlement deal between Cambodia and Australia. 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.
 

A vital national voice for refugees since 1981

RCOA was founded in 1981 by Paul Cullen (left), pictured here receiving the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award from the then UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Poul Hartling.

 

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