Children wait in line for food at the Idomeni border crossing between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. People join long queues that can stretch for hundreds of meters in order to get a simple sandwich. The latest figures show that 36% of the refugees arriving in Europe in 2016 are children, and many of them have been separated from their parents. Photo by UNHCR
Consultation on the 2017-2018 Refugee and Humanitarian Program
For more than 25 years, the Refugee Council of Australia has been gathering community views on the Refugee and Humanitarian Program. Every year, we conduct a series of consultations across the country to provide feedback to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on the operation of this Program.
In April 2017, the Department published a Discussion Paper inviting submissions on the Program. The Refugee Council of Australia provided its submission on 19 May 2017. Submissions are now closed.
RCOA’s submission is informed by the ideas and expertise of individuals and organisations from across Australia: people who have settled here having survived the refugee journey, those who have applied for protection, and those who support them.
Thanks to the contribution of our members and supporters, in 2016 RCOA funded a broad national consultation to inform this and other submissions that we make to the Australian Government. Between July to December 2016, we conducted 63 face-to-face consultations with service providers and members of refugee communities across all states and territories of Australia, including 11 in regional areas. We held 12 consultations targeting particular groups, including women, young people, people seeking asylum, and specific refugee communities. We also held two national teleconferences focusing on mental health issues and on regional and rural settlement. We also received 4 written submissions and 41 survey responses.
In total, we spoke to over 600 people, including a wide range of organisations and communities. We would also like to thank the 28 organisations that hosted these consultations for us, and the small army of volunteers who helped us transcribe the notes.
We believe strongly that the insights and views of those participants are both necessary and valuable in the consideration of Australia’s contribution to protection, in Australia and overseas. We will be using this information to inform our core policy work, including reports and submissions.
Read the submission
You can download the submission here or the shorter briefing paper that we prepared. You can continue to read a summary of our submission.