The protection environment in the Asia-Pacific region is extremely challenging. Conditions in major countries of origin (such as Afghanistan and Burma) are characterised by protracted conflicts, ongoing insecurity and widespread violations of human rights.
Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program has two key components – the onshore protection program and the offshore resettlement program.
The onshore component of the program is for asylum seekers who apply for refugee status after arriving in Australia. Most enter as visitors or students; some arrive without authorisation. The onshore component is designed to meet Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention to recognise and provide protection to people fleeing persecution.
The offshore component of the program is for people outside Australia who are in need of resettlement. It is a voluntary commitment designed to provide durable solutions for the many refugees who can neither remain where they are nor return home.
The current size of the Refugee and Humanitarian Program is 13,750 places. This includes 11,000 places for the offshore program and 2,750 places for the onshore program.