Refugee Council of Australia
Parliament House, Canberra
Home > Publications > Submissions > Revisiting Migrants’ Contributions from a Human Rights-Based Approach: A Discussion on Facilitating and Hindering Factors

Revisiting Migrants’ Contributions from a Human Rights-Based Approach: A Discussion on Facilitating and Hindering Factors

The Refugee Council of Australia made a submission to the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants’s “Report on Revisiting migrants’ contributions from a human rights-based approach: a discussion on facilitating and hindering factors”. The report will highlight the many important ways in which migrants themselves, their families and communities have substantially contributed both historically and contemporarily in a variety of settings.

RCOA’s submission focuses on the contributions of refugees in Australia, and positive examples which support refugees to integrate into Australian society and economy. While the primary objective of the Humanitarian Program is and should be to provide safety and a durable solution to people in need of international protection, the Program should not be seen in isolation or disconnected from the broader Migration Program. Like other migrants, research has shown that refugee and humanitarian entrants make long and lasting contributions to Australia’s economy and society, including in the areas of jobs and skills. These contributions relate to: 

  • The younger demographic profile and long-term engagement in the Australian labour market of refugee and humanitarian entrants (i.e. a median age 15 years younger than the national average and the lowest settler loss rate of any migrant group).
  • Many refugees arriving with significant skills, qualifications and overseas work experience relevant to the Australian labour market, including as medical professionals, tradespeople, engineers, business owners, educators and carers.3
  • Refugee-humanitarian labour force participation rates converge toward that of the Australia-born population over time. The second generation performs at a higher level.
  • Refugee and humanitarian entrants engage disproportionately in the labour force in some regional areas, and in industries where there are significant labour shortages, including those catering to an aging population.
  • Refugee-humanitarian settlers show a greater propensity to form their own business than other migrants, and risk-taking, entrepreneurialism and an ability to identify and take advantage of opportunities is a key characteristic of the group.
  • Refugee and humanitarian entrants can facilitate the development of trade between Australia and their countries of origin, diversifying the range of countries where Australia-based diaspora communities and businesses have knowledge and connections.

2024 Human Rights of Migrants Submission
Size : 644.4 kB Format : PDF

Be a champion for refugee rights

Join our mailing list and be the first to receive active resources. We need you to show Australia cares about refugees.


  • Category

  • Topic