NFP Input into Australia’s Humanitarian Program
18 February 2016 at 11:34 am
The community sector has been called on to make submissions on the planning and development of Australia’s Humanitarian Program for 2016-17 – resettling refugees who arrive “lawfully” in Australia.
But the Federal Government’s program does not include “the regional processing arrangements and Australia’s management of the illegal maritime arrival legacy”.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the consultation process would inform the government’s decision about the size and composition of the program for the next 12 months.
“Since 1947, Australia has welcomed more than 825,000 people from different countries under the Humanitarian Program in response to changing global resettlement needs,” Dutton said.
“The program provides permanent resettlement to those most in need, who are in desperate situations overseas, including in refugee camps and protracted humanitarian situations.”
He said Australia was one of only a small number of countries that operate an annual permanent resettlement program and ranks in the top three resettlement countries each year, along with the United States and Canada.
“The Government has committed to increase the size of the Humanitarian Program from the current level of 13,750 places up to 16,250 places in 2017-18 and 18,750 places in 2018-19.”
On 9 September 2015, the Government announced an additional 12,000 places to resettle people displaced by conflicts in Syria and lraq.
It has been reported that immigration officials told a Senate Estimates hearing last week that just 26 Syrian refugees had arrived in Australia since the 12,000 intake was announced in September.
“We have released the Humanitarian Programme 2016-17 discussion paper that outlines how the program currently operates and provides information on its management, size and composition over previous years,” Dutton said.
He said however, that regional processing arrangements and Australia’s management of the illegal maritime arrival legacy caseload were not within the scope of this discussion paper.
Submissions are asked to address questions around the proportional split between the Special Humanitarian Program and Refugee categories in the offshore component of its program, and which regions (Africa, Asia or Middle East) should have the most places allocated.
Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 27 March 2016.