Australia welcomes 61 refugee families for permanent resettlement

30 August 2006


Watch This Video

Australia has again opened its doors and given refuge and new hope and a new home to the latest groups of some 200 refugees.

Australia's Minister for Immigration, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said that this week (Aug 28 - Sept 1), Australia had again welcomed more than 200 refugee and humanitarian entrants, including some people assessed as being amongst the most in need of resettlement.

The Minister said that 105 of the 232 people arriving this week were refugees who had been waiting in refugee camps for many years after having been assessed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as being most in need of resettlement.

"These are all entrants under Australia's refugee and humanitarian program which provides 13,000 places each year," Senator Vanstone said.

"The UNHCR currently lists Australia as the second largest resettlement country and consistently in the top three, with Canada and the USA.

"Australia is able to offer this level of protection, in part, because of our commitment to maintaining tough border security, ensuring that places available go to those assessed by the UNHCR to those most in need, "Senator Vanstone said.

"Some of the children in the latest group have known only life inside a refugee camp with no running water or power.

The latest group, which will make Australia their new home, comprised 61 family units including two women arriving under a special program for women at risk.

This included women who had lost male family members and were therefore considered particularly vulnerable.

The new arrivals would settle in all states and territories across Australia.

Related:

Australian lawmakers defy Prime Minister over immigration reform
Australian asylum laws opposed by senate committee

Opposition to Australia asylum laws
Measures to Strengthen Australian Border Proposed

Australian treasurer stands by immigration policies
Australia's immigration IT system to undergo massive overhaul