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Index: ASA 05/8971/2018
30 August 2018
JOINT OPEN LETTER TO THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM LEADERS AND OBSERVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF AUSTRALIA’S ABUSIVE OFFSHORE REFUGEE PROCESSING POLICY
There are thousands of people seeking asylum living in the Australian community. Some of these people have come to Australia by plane, and sought asylum afterwards. Some of them have come to Australia by boat. The way they came affects whether they are detained, the conditions of their visas, and how their claim for protection is determined.
It also affects the way statistics are reported. There are very few current statistics on people who came by plane. There are more detailed statistics on people who came by boat, but its publication has varied over time.
UNHCR Appeals For Support To Address Refugee Resettlement Needs In Africa
The vast unmet need for refugee resettlement from Africa and the opportunities for communities to engage in the sponsorship of refugees were two of the key themes discussed when representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), governments and NGOs from resettlement states and other inter-governmental bodies gathered in Geneva for the 2017 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR).
Representation at the ATCR
The world is in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Yet Australia’s approach in recent years has been to punish people seeking asylum, while increasing the numbers of refugees it resettles. This contrasting approach threatens the long and proud history Australia has of successful integration of refugee communities.
This report reflects what we have heard from refugees and people seeking asylum, and the people supporting them. We thank all of the people who contributed to this report.
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is calling on the Australian government to show leadership and make firm commitments on refugee policy, ahead of two landmark international refugee summits taking place this week.
The UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants taking place today includes heads of state, government ministers, UN leaders, civil society representatives and many others. It it is expected that states will adopt a pre-drafted declaration on large-scale migration.
Australia and the world’s wealthiest nations have failed to deliver on promises to increase resettlement for the world’s neediest refugees, new figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have highlighted.
With the total number of refugees reaching 21.3 million and forced displacement exceeding 65 million, just 107,000 refugees were given the chance to resettle in 2015 – equivalent to just 0.5% of the global refugee population.
Geneva, 15 June 2016 — The world is facing the largest refugee crisis since WWII. At this year’s Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR), 34 NGOs made an urgent call on all parties to support the UN Secretary General’s goal: for States to provide resettlement spaces and additional legal channels for at least 10 per cent of the global refugee population annually. This is the kind of bold responsibility sharing needed to respond to this historic challenge, the NGOs say.
The 2016-17 Federal Budget offers no new hope for the world’s displaced people, with no additional places for refugee resettlement and no strategy for the Australian Government to end its disastrous and inhumane offshore processing regime, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) says.
RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power said that the Budget was largely a “do nothing” document for national refugee policy, with most policies and allocations remaining unchanged at a time when the number of people displaced by persecution and conflict is at its highest level in 70 years.
1.1 A crisis largely ignored for more than 35 years
The Refugee Council of Australia’s submission to the Australian Government on the 2014-15 Refugee and Humanitarian Program includes a wealth of statistical information on the needs of refugees and asylum seekers internationally and within Australia. This is a snapshot of key data.
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1. INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE NEEDS