Does Australia take the most refugees? > Check the facts
Who: “We take more refugees per head of Australian population than any other nation in the world. We take either the second or third most in absolute terms, depending on how you calibrate your calculation” Chris Bowen.
The claim: Australia takes the most refugees per capita and takes the second or third most in absolute terms.
The facts: The UNHCR Global Trends Report 2010 shows that Australia took one refugee per 1, 000 population and ranked 69th in the world for per capita refugee intake. 2012 UNHCR figures for absolute refugee intake show that Australia took nearly 30,000 refugees and ranked 49th in the world.
Discussion of evidence: The country that takes the most refugees per head of population is Jordan, with 72.9 refugees per 1,000 people. The table below shows Australia’s per capita refugee intake compared to the top 5 countries.
|Rank||Country||Refugees per 1,000 population (2010)|
|2||Syrian Arab Rep.||49.3|
|3||Congo, Rep. of||32.9|
The country with the largest absolute refugee intake is Pakistan with more than 1.6 million refugees. The table below compares Australia’s refugee intake compared to the top 5 countries.
|Rank||Country||Refugees (up to 2012)|
|2||Iran (Islamic Republic of)||868,239|
|5||Syrian Arab Republic||476,481|
Australia’s world rankings for refugee intake are very different to those claimed Chris Bowen. However, Australia does rank highly in the resettlement of refugees. Resettlement is a scheme whereby a third country takes refugees who cannot be safely settled in the country they originally sought asylum. In 2012, less than one per cent of refugees were re-settled. Most countries do not have official resettlement programs and in 2012 only 27 countries resettled refugees. According to the Refugee Council of Australia, Australia ranked second in 2012 for the resettlement of refugees per capita (0.267 refugees per 1,000 population) beaten only by Canada (0.283 per 1,000). In absolute terms the top three resettlement countries were America (66,300), Canada (9,600) and Australia (5,900).
We should also compare Australia’s refugee intake with developed countries, many of which are doing far more than Australia. From the source below, the intake of refugees to number of citizens is Australia 1:997, Sweden 1:107, Norway 1:119,Germany 1:144, Canada 1:203, France 1:310.
Australia can do more!
That link from wikipedia is kind of useless, it doesn’t provide a time frame and it doesn’t say if the refugees are in coming or out going. It could be total refugees for the last 50 years, it doesn’t say. If it’s current. I find it difficult to believe that 1.2 million people sort asylum in Syria a country with civil war (more likely they were leaving). If it’s meant to be outgoing I find it difficult to believe 21,000 people became refugees escaping Australia. It makes no sense at all.
Neil I agree with your comments. In addition, we shouldn’t compare Australia to what the developing countries are doing as we’re not a developing country, ever wondered why developing countries are the way they are and yet we’re not… The right decisions are being made to maintain such freedoms that we have which many people don’t understand are required. The fact is that our country Australia is the 3rd biggest resettler of refugees globally (USA and Canada 1st and 2nd). What’s the point of taking in more refugees than can be processed. We see in some of those developing countries which do take on more refugees than Australia (yes I agree with you on this) who will simply never leave these shanti town refugee style camps as is the case in many camps in Africa. What is the point of this? They just put more economic strain on international charities to increase rations to maintain these people in developing countries waiting to be processed and many of whom will never be. This simply perpetuates the problem and doesn’t help anyone. Sure the sheer intake of numbers look good on paper but these numbers are insignificant if not taking all other factors into consideration. It’s not productive and this is just one example of the many issues that countries face by taking in too many refugees at a time.
Sean, even though Australia is the third largest resettler, its no. of resettlement is still far behind US. According to Parliament of Australia, http://www.factsfightback.org.au/does-australia-take-the-most-refugees-check-the-facts/ , the amount of refugees US resettled in 2010 is around 10 times more than Aust does. (US: 54077, AU: 5634).
“What’s the point of taking in more refugees than can be processed.” The fact is that we can actually process more refugees as Australia is one of the less populated developed countries out there.
Moreover, there is actually a point of settling asylum seekers, even in Africa. A lot of them just simply cannot return to their country as they are in danger of persecution and oppression and they can actually get killed. It is not like they have a choice. They flee or they die.
It is true that a lot of the asylum seekers can do nothing but wait to be processed. Yet that is exactly why Australia should take more refugees, not just from onshore application but also from these refugee camps.
Considering Australia is one of the least populated countries, and one of the wealthiest, these statistics seem very, very grave and irrelevant…
Our national lack of compassion is palpable…
We should decommission all armed forces and commit them full time to rescuing refugees from around the world, set a precedence and example for other nations of similar wealth and prosperity…
How about helping out the 10+% of Aussies who live below the poverty line first?
Maybe your life is good and you mix with people in a comfortable income bracket? Poverty among Aussies is a VERY real thing, it just looks a bit different here.
Lothar, if it’s the thought of misplaced resources that really bothers you, stop and think about how much money Australia will be paying PNG as part of this deal. We don’t know – undisclosed amounts – but it’s a safe bet the figure will be in the billions. What’s more, the cost of mandatory detention is exorbitant. We could save $333 per asylum seeker, per day if we processed them in the community. So mate, if you want more money to go round the Australian community, that’s the policy you should be pushing for. http://rightnow.org.au/topics/asylum-seekers/the-economic-cost-of-our-asylum-seeker-policy/
I absolutely have no doubt whatsoever that there are Australians seriously struggling economically; and I don’t mean to sound horrible, but most of these refugees would not be able to imagine the wealth and general security of even the poorest of Australians. It could be argued that we should try and do the greatest good for the greatest number; and, in that, spread the wealth equally across as many people as possible, which is what I support. Realistically, and please excuse swearing, but the whole world is going to shit exactly because people (naturally) think only of themselves. This is exactly the kind of opportunity that we, as the lucky few, should take advantage of, to help the rest of humanity as best we can.
The least populated country argument is very flimsy, after all Greenland and Antartica are less populated but we don’t send refugees there. Why? Cause it’s covered in ice. Australia is 2/3rd desert but I guess the city people in Aus with there artificial surroundings who have never lived in the real country haven’t tried living there to find out. If it’s so liveable why don’t you go and live there instead of sitting in your ivory towers espousing idealistic bleeding heart philopshy
Actually there’s a lot empty habitable space in Australia as is, and I have been to places all around.
My country Sweden did exactly this and these immigrations are so happy and thankful that we did take of them….
No, it’s not an fairytale, these people did bring in violence, gangrape, honor killings and a lot of crime. We have big riots in our immigration dense areas.
You have to be careful, i think Australia have a good balance where they are able to integrate into our society.
In Sweden a lot of people from the middle east have forced schools to stop serve pork, to ban the kids from going swimming, have tried to introduce sharia laws. The problem appears that the refugees from the middle east is very intolerant, violent and are racists too. In Sweden many hate swedish people and the goverment. They have their own rules in their own community, they drive swedish people away from their neighborhoods.
On the other hand, we had a lot of immigrants flying from communism in asia and these Asian people is all integrated, they work, pay taxes and obey the law. The unemployment rate withing the asian community is actually lower then the with the swedish because they are starting more small business. 80% our of refugees from the middle east is on welfare, and it doesn’t appear that they want to work.
I wonder why it is that more refugees can be found in countries with land borders? It’s quite shocking to think that Afghan refugees would first seek asylum in countries with which they share a land border.
It should be noted the difference between the “intake” and the “resettlement” of refugees; taking in refugees has no promise of protection from persecution; resettlement, on the other hand implicitly involves the protection of a refugee from the country which they seek asylum from.
So Chris Bowen said that we ‘take’ more refugees per capita, when he meant resettle. That’s not truly an unforgivable gaff.
I think you guys are missing the point re resettlement from camps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Camps
[…] For comparison’s sake, the number of refugees hosted by Pakistan, Iran and Germany in 2012 was 1.6 million, 870,000 and 590,000 respectively. […]
[…] http://www.factsfightback.org.au/does-australia-take-the-most-refugees-check-the-facts/ […]
One piece of data missing from the debate is the number of plane arrivals who ask for asylum, and the number/% granted. Does anyone know this, or where I can find this info? I still don’t get the hysteria about boat arrivals; nor do I understand why most of these don’t fly in, as it would be far cheaper with virtually no risk. As they are going to Indonesia first, surely they can apply for a visa at the Austrailian consulate there?
It’s so small that no-one knows or cares about it, just like the amount of people who come to Australia illigitimently.
One of the issues with this argument, is that a lot of those third world countries that are receiving refugees do not pay for them. The UN and western supplied aide is paying for them. Also one refugee in a third world African country probably costs $1-2 per day. Every refugee we bring in to Australia costs costs over $110000 per year whilst in detention and then $30000-50000 per year. Then they bring the rest of their family out so it just multiplies. As they cannot speak English they do not get jobs. Therefore we are still paying for 85% of them five years later. This more than anything is why Australia needs to act and stop this illegal trade in mostly economic refugees. The do-gooders fail to realise that for every illegal boat person (who is not security checked properly) we accept means one we cannot accept from the UN somewhere else in the world (which are properly screened. The issue about processing on shore is not much cheaper. But due to our weak piss ant court system and bleeding hearts any illegal refugee that sets foot in Australia will not be sent back. They also still cost over $100000 per refugee if processed here and it will also encourage more illegal boat people to come. The best option for Australia is to withdraw from the 1951 UN charter on refugees and the 1967 amendment. We can still comply with the charter without being a signatory to it. But by withdrawing from the charter will sound a warning we will not have our borders invaded without having a say, and that the charter is out dated and is being abused with the full knowledge of the UN. This abuse has to stop, and now. Our society and our national budget cannot take this. We have at least 100000 Australian living on the streets each night, we cannot help these people because we are spending so much money on foreign aide and dealing with illegal asylum seekers (economic migrants),
That’s all very well and good to say; but why should someone, who, by some great misfortune, has either not had the opportunity to have papers made, or, in some cases, been forced to discard them, deserve safety any less? Put yourself into the shoes of these people. They have escaped horrors that make our lives seem like Utopia. I do not in any way or shape deny that yes, there are Australians, struggling, homeless, and, so to speak, “in the shit”; but why should we NOT help these refugees just because we haven’t yet helped people on our doorsteps? Why should people born into poverty in Australia deserve help more than people born into war-torn, oppressive, violent, dangerous starvation anywhere else in the world?
Tell you what. After you; you, personally, “realist”, have actually considered what it would be like to live the life of these people; even those of them who are very fortunate. Best-case scenario, they were a wealthy family, who were suspected of doing something that *insert corrupt political/military force here* does not approve of; they were forced to flee. They were very wealthy, so they could afford; best case; a FLIGHT to Australia, as refugees. And then they got stuck in the system for; how long? A month? A year? A decade?
Please don’t make it seem as though these people deserve our aid and love less than anyone else. They are, quite simply, people too. To quote Albus Dumbledore, “though we may come from different countries and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one”. They. Are. Human. Just like you, just like me. There is nothing DIFFERENT about them except the colour of their skin, their language, their culture, the way they were brought up; nothing as unbridgable as the common racist would assume and preach.
Personally, I would be willing to live on a shitty wage, with next to nothing in my life, so that these people could at least have something. Because, surrounded by biggots and narcissists, there’s not much more than that that I can do.
[…] Where Australia sits in relation to the world by factsfightback.org […]
Don’t know why so many australian wants the government to let more boats in while dont want to pay more tax.
Because the government pours to much money into fossil fuels.
Err…you’re comparing the total number of refugees in Pakistan to Australia’s annual refugee intake (who by definition cease to be refugees once resettled).
Who decided Australia was suddenly responsible for all the aggressive warring tribes of Africa and the Middle East? This problem is thousands of years old and your abundance of compassion will not change anything. We are expected to reduce our standard of living and safety because of a lack of common sense in some Aussies? I’m sorry but let them kill each other if that’s what they are genetically inclined to do. Why don’t all our superior Aussie social engineers fix our domestic problems first if they are all as clever and superior as they like to appear… Well?
If all you bleeding hearts are half as clever as you appear to think you are all you need to do is bugger off to Africa and the Middle East and quickly fix up all their problems. See you all in a few thousand years you naive dumb asses. The subjective nonsense makes me want to puke.
[…] reality, our intake of refugees pales in comparison to many countries. We rank 69th on the list of refugees per capita (taking 1 per 1000 people). Wow, no wonder we have to worry about all of those asylum seekers and […]
Our policies on boat people, either turning them back or allowing them in, are like proscribing aspirin to someone with malaria; its treating the symptom and not the problem. And while it may make you feel better for a short interval symptomatic treatment makes the problem worse. Refusing entry to asylum seekers has created trauma, led to the death or imprisonment of some, exploitation of those who enter a country illegally and will not stop the thriving trade in people smugglers. Accepting them has created civil wars in Jordan and Lebanon, the rise of right wing extremest groups in Europe and encouraged the persecution of religious or ethnic minorities in the belief that they can find refuge status in another country.
First identify the problem ; There are 7 billion humans on earth, the majority living in poverty, often because of their exploitation as cheap labor, but overwhelmingly because the world can’t cope with human numbers on this scale.
We, that is people in the developed world, only buy “stuff” clothes, components, cars etc from suppliers who source their products from factories that pay a living wage. This is achievable, if necessary it could be done by buying on the net.
We greatly increase our aid for family planning programs in the developing world where population growth is strangling their capacity to provide eduction,employment and health care. Also achievable but it does need governments on side. The previous attempt to achieve this, the Cairo conference on population , the ICPD, failed because of a well orchestrated campaign by the Catholic church, some Islamic nations and US conservatives .
We increase our spending on education for the developing world in a similar way as our 1950’s Colombo program. At the same time we stop taking skilled people from the developing nations under our skilled migration scheme.
We legislate so that our nation cannot go to war, unless attacked, without a referendum of all citizens.
These are the easy bits we only have opposition from business groups, religious groups, politicians and consumers who don’t want to pay an extra dollar for a shirt.
The next one is tricky, we have to reduce or eliminate the trade in arms which is costs around $100b per. Year – about $15b to Africa, the nation that can least afford it and less than all the money they receive in aid. These figures are thought to be conservative since the arms trade is the most corrupt of all business. There is a limited form of Treaty (the ATT) being negotiated in the UN, it is opposed by Syria Iran and North Korea, limited in its goals and will be nullified by the illegal trade in weapons. But then the ban on land mines is working.
The (2010/2011) facts:
USA-Over 60 000
Australia does more than any other country. Pakistan has more refuggees but they all live in a camp , kid cant go to school UN help pakistan to feed those refugees there is no permanent settlement in Pakistan. does Any tree guggers know that if refugge come to australia they set for life, housing is provided , continous benefit until they find a job. Most of regugees who come to australia dont find job , doesnt learn english unable to find jobs easily. In canada and USA refugges are looked after for one year maxium and they have no choice to look for JOBS. Australia should do samething here and make refugges to look for any jobs if they fit do. after one year staying in australia
I work in a factory owned by a building magnate who is willing to employ anyone who can and will do the job no exceptions always pays on time very secure and driven by a vision rather than greed.I have been very lucky indeed.Never the less I think we should rename the place Buckridgistan
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