Humanitarian immigration benefits Australian society

21 June 2011



New Australian sponsored research shows that refugees in Australia are "likely" to take advantage of work opportunities in regional areas, engage in entrepreneurial endeavors, and undertake volunteer work, benefiting Australian society as a whole.

The report, Economic, Social And Civic Contributions Of First And Second Generation Humanitarian Entrants by Professor Graeme Hugo is the first comprehensive study that also looked at second-generation humanitarian migrants.

"In the lead-up to World Refugee Day celebrations, the government has commissioned this research to better understand the economic, social and civic contributions of humanitarian entrants or refugees to Australia," said Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

"While many refugees do encounter difficulties in the early years of their settlement here, this research shows that refugees make an important contribution to Australia in areas including social engagement, workforce participation and business ownership," he added.

He said that humanitarian immigrants are increasingly settling in rural and regional areas of Australia, which depend heavily on overseas migration to fill labour shortages.

"With the support of Australia's world-class settlement services, most humanitarian entrants are able to adjust effectively over time and eventually match Australian levels of economic and social contribution, especially those in the second generation," Bowen said.

Due to continued economic growthLabour shortages are an increasing problem in Australia. Many firms are looking to immigration in general to fill vacancies, especially in the resources industry which includes the mining industry and industries that support the resources sector.