This is a report from the Australian government about its refugee resettlement record this just-ending fiscal year.
Refugees from Iraq and Burma comprised about 40 per cent of the 13 507 refugees and other people in greatest humanitarian need who were granted visas to start a new life in Australia in 2008-09, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said today.
Iraqis were the largest group in the 2008-09 humanitarian program with 2874 visas granted – including 500 additional refugee places that were reserved for this group last program year in recognition of their critical resettlement needs,’ Senator Evans said.
Australia now joins Canada and some European countries (including Ireland) in resettling Rohingya Muslims. So far the US has officially not resettled Rohingya, but I bet that will soon change. And, as a matter of fact, some may have already come in with the Burmese Karen Christians.
The second-largest group resettled were Burmese, most of whom had been living in camps along the Thai-Burma border for more than 20 years. This group also included more than 100 Burmese Rohingya who have been living in the Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh since 1992.
Wanting to be sure to be good humanitarians, the Australian government says they will take even more refugees this coming fiscal year.
The minister said Australia remained a world leader in humanitarian resettlement, both in terms of numbers resettled and the services provided to help them rebuild their lives.
‘The program will continue to grow in the year ahead, with an increase of 250 places building on the 2008-09 increase, to bring the total program to 13 750 for 2009-10,’ Senator Evans said. ‘Our ongoing efforts to help vulnerable populations are a clear demonstration of our nation’s compassion for those in need.’
For information on Australia’s problems with refugees, visit our category for that country, here.