15 June 2009

People emigrating to Australia through refugee program celebrated by Australia

The Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans is calling for communities to celebrate people emigrating to Australia through the refugee program during the Refugee Week (June 14 – 20).

Emigrating to Australia through refugee program

Evans supports refugees emigrating to Australia.

The Government recently increased the number of people emigrating to Australia through the humanitarian and refugee program from 13,750 places to 13,500 places in the 2009-10 financial year.  Refugees emigrating to Australia from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South West Asia will be the focal regions for the year, with increased efforts to help refugees emigrating to Australia from Bhutan in Nepal and from the Thai-Burma border in South East Asia.

In a statement, Senator Evans said that supporting people emigrating to Australia through this program should be a top priority, so that they may overcome the hardships they have endured in their homeland and start contributing positively to the Australian community faster. 

"All Australians should feel proud of our contributions to international refugee protection. Helping refugees reflects an important value – compassion for those in need. It is something that we do well and will continue to do well in the coming years," Senator Evans said.

Each state and territory will this week hold events that showcase the journeys made by refugees emigrating to Australia, with the overall focus being 'Freedom from Fear'. 

The Government will also this year be increasing its focus on international protection obligations for those at most risk in their home country.

"This will allow Australia to meet our protection obligations under international human rights treaties to people who may not meet the Refugees Convention definition, but who cannot return home because they would be killed or tortured," Senator Evans said.

In related news, a Sudanese woman who spent three years in a refugee camp is one of 15 refugee students to be receiving a scholarship for education.  The Canberra Refugee Support scholarships will be granted to young refugees who make up 60 per cent of the humanitarian program in Australia, because the Government sees the potential in these young immigrants in making a positive contribution to Australia.

"The scholarship recipients are living proof of how much people can achieve when given the chance to overcome hardships and to start new lives free from fear and persecution," Senator Evans added.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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