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Australia continues to meet its commitment to world

“Australia continues to meet its commitment to world’s most vulnerable people”

Media release by the Honourable Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Gillard Government will continue its commitment to providing refuge for the world’s most vulnerable people by accepting 20 000 people through the humanitarian program in 2013-14.

‘Millions of people are displaced around the world and we should be very proud of Australia’s part in providing refugees with protection,’ the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor, said today.

Key features of the humanitarian program include:

  • the resettlement of displaced populations in the Middle East and South West Asia, primarily Afghans and Iraqis
  • higher refugee intakes from countries in the Australian region
  • maintaining the focus on vulnerable women and their families through the ‘woman at risk’ program, which the government maintains at 12 per cent of the refugee component of the program
  • introducing the community proposal pilot as part of the humanitarian program
  • the resettlement of eligible Afghan locally engaged employees at risk of harm due to their employment in support of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan.

The program will also include up to 500 places for people proposed under the community proposal pilot scheme to be introduced later this month, subject to the agreement of the Governor-General to several necessary regulation changes.

‘This scheme will provide another avenue for humanitarian entrants with existing community ties to come to Australia, while minimising the cost to taxpayers,’ Mr O’Connor said.

Mr O’Connor said the government would continue to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to identify those in need of resettlement in other parts of the world such as Africa and Asia.

‘The humanitarian program is part of a broader whole-of-government approach to supporting displaced populations in our region,’ Mr O’Connor said.

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