Refugee Council of Australia
Panama migrants and refugees continue to cross the darien jungle in

Is Australia’s response to refugees generous? An analysis of UNHCR Global Trends statistics from 2013 to 2022

Resettled refugees

In 2022, only 114,242 refugees were resettled to other countries, 55,676 through UNHCR processes and the remainder through humanitarian programs managed by states (such as Australia’s Special Humanitarian Program and Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees). Of the 21 nations involved in refugee resettlement, Australia was ranked third with 17,325 arrivals during the 2022 calendar year (15.2% of the global total). On a per capita basis and relative to national GDP, Australia was second behind Canada, which resettled 47,550 refugees. The United States resettled 28,945 refugees.

Over the 10 years from 2013 to 2022, 1,009,362 refugees were resettled to 42 countries. The annual number of refugees resettled peaked at 189,291 in 2016 but fell to just 34,383 in 2022. The United States resettled 438,664 refugees over the 10-year period, Canada 253,101 and Australia 132,180, Sweden 34,904, United Kingdom 30,030, Norway 24,305, Germany 22,010, France 19,559, Netherlands 9,444, Finland 7,812 and New Zealand 7,783.

On a per capita basis and relative to national GDP, Australia was ranked second behind Canada for refugees resettled between 2013 and 2022.

The other three countries in the top five on these indicators were 25,000 Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.

With an average of just 101,000 refugees resettled each year over the past decade, resettlement is well beyond reach for many of the refugees who lack access to a durable solution. At current rates of resettlement, only one in every 291 refugees has access to resettlement each year (0.3%).

RCOA comment: While Australia's contribution to refugee resettlement is significant in global terms, resettlement is an additional form of responsibility sharing to support the core goal of providing protection to refugees. Any assessment of how nations compare in their response to refugees should take account of both refugee protection and resettlement.

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