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  • Highest levels of global forced displacement on record—World Refugee Day 20 June 2015

    Posted 22/06/2015 by Janet Phillips

    On World Refugee Day—celebrated on 20 June every year—the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports on global displacement trends using data collected over the previous calendar year. This time last year the UNHCR reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide had exceeded 50 million people for the first time since World War II. This year, in its publication Global Trends 2014, the UNHCR is reporting the highest levels of displacement on record—59.5 million people (19.5 million refugees, 38.2 million internally displaced people and 1.8 million asylum seekers).

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    TAGS: refugees, asylum seekers

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  • Is Australia pulling its weight when it comes to the resettlement of Syrian refugees?

    Posted 2/04/2015 by Elibritt Karlsen
    According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR ‘the Syrian situation is the most dramatic humanitarian crisis the world has faced in a very long time. Syrians are now the largest refugee population under UNHCR's mandate’. In fact, the UNHCR estimates there to be close to four million registered refugees who have fled Syria into neighbouring countries. David Miliband, writing in The Washington Post has recently claimed that ‘it is well past time for the United States and other Weste... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees immigration asylum

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  • A very big year: asylum claims in industrialised countries reach a new high in 2014

    Posted 31/03/2015 by Harriet Spinks
    Refugee
    ZouZou/shutterstock.com

    Data released by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) show that 2014 was a big year for asylum seeking, with asylum claims reaching the highest level in over two decades. The UNHCR report Asylum trends 2014: levels and trends in industrialised countries, released on 26 March 2015, provides data on asylum claims lodged in 44 industrialized countries (38 European countries plus the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia). It reveals some significant trends in asylum claims around the world, including that 2014 saw a striking 45 per cent increase from the previous year in the number of asylum claims lodged. This is the fourth consecutive annual increase, and the second highest level since the early 1980s. The 2014 figure, of 866,000 asylum applications, is just short of the 900,000 lodged in 1992, which remains the highest on record.

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    TAGS: refugees, asylum

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  • Minister reports to Parliament on processing arrangements in Nauru and PNG for 2013—14

    Posted 8/12/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Parliament House in Canberra
    On 4 December 2014, the last scheduled parliamentary sitting day for the year, a report was tabled in Parliament on the regional processing arrangements for unauthorised maritime arrivals. The Minister’s report covers arrangements made during the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. The statutory obligation to produce such a report comes from section 198AJ of the Migration Act which was inserted by the former Government to give effect to a recommendation of the Senate Legal and Constitution... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, refugees, immigration

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  • Permanent residency for Safe Haven Enterprise Visa holders?

    Posted 28/11/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    On 25 September 2014, the Government announced that it would be creating a new temporary protection visa, to be known as a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) which would be available to refugees that had arrived by boat prior to the commencement of the regional processing regime announced by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in July 2013. Though the visa criteria are yet to be finalised, the SHEV is expected to be valid for five years and is specifically designed to encourage refugees to move to r... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum, immigration

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  • Australia's refugee population: A statistical snapshot of 2013-14

    Posted 28/11/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Statistics recently published by the Immigration Department reveal that during the 2013—14 financial year, some 6,500 visas were granted to refugees abroad who had applied to be resettled to Australia. The majority of these people originally fled persecution from countries such as Afghanistan (2530), Myanmar (1145), and Iraq (830). The Department also granted 300 refugee category visas to Syrian nationals. Though the Department’s statistics do not indicate where these people were re... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum, immigration

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  • World Refugee Day 2014 - highest levels of displacement since World War II

    Posted 20/06/2014 by Janet Phillips
    Refugee
    ZouZou/shutterstock.com

    On World Refugee Day, celebrated on 20 June each year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports on global displacement trends based on data collected from the previous calendar year by governments, Non-Government Organisation (NGO) partners and the UNHCR itself.

    This year, in its publication Global trends 2013, the UNHCR has reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has exceeded 50 million people for the first time since World War II.

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    TAGS: refugees, asylum

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  • Syria: losing ground in the fight to eradicate polio

    Posted 15/04/2014 by Wendy Bruere
    Polio resurfaced in Syria late last year, and has now been found in Iraq as well, leading to concerns that this could reverse gains in international efforts to eradicate the virus. A side effect of the conflict in Syria, now running for over three years, is that for many children vaccinations have lapsed.  According to the BBC‘Vaccination rates in Syria fell from 91 per cent of children before the war to an estimated 68 per cent in 2012. But those are national figures. In rebel-held... Read more...

    TAGS: United Nations, children's health, aid, Middle East, refugees

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  • Offshore processing: lessons from the ‘Pacific Solution’

    Posted 15/04/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    On 9 May 2014, the High Court of Australia is scheduled to begin considering the legality of the former Government’s decision to classify Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a regional processing country. Amongst other things, the plaintiff argues that the former Labor Government failed to take into account advice from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which stated there were no laws and procedures in place in PNG for the determination of refugee status or immigration officers with the e... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum refugees immigration

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  • Temporary Protection by hook or by crook

    Posted 5/03/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    The Coalition has consistently argued for the reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas (or TPVs as they are more commonly known) because it considers them to be an essential component of its border protection arsenal to deter asylum seekers from trying to enter Australia by boat. When in Opposition in early 2013, the Coalition unsuccessfully introduced legislation to try to reintroduce TPVs. When they formed Government six months later, the domestic landscape had changed significantly. Some ... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum seekers, immigration

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