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Australian asylum policy


ACRT Media Release


30 June 2021

7,000 are waiting in limbo, need safety 

Currently, there are over 7,000 refugees waiting offshore. These people have already been granted permanent humanitarian visas to enter Australia but are still waiting offshore after been denied entry when the borders closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuck in transit, many live without the right to work, study or travel freely. Families with sick children cannot access the healthcare they desperately need. Many have been stuck in this uncertainty for years, frightened and hoping for a better future.  

Little has been done by the government to change the barriers to entry for the vast majority of these 7000 people.  The Refugee Council of Australia (RCA) and UNHCR have called on the government to apply a blanket travel exemption for humanitarian visa holders, advocating for all of them to be allowed into Australia to start a new life – as they were promised.

Since August 2020, Australia has rejected 1,251 out of 1,826 applications for travel exemptions from refugees already granted protection by the government, according to Department of Home Affairs data obtained by SBS. 

Australia’s human rights record

The latest tracker by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) showed no improvement in Australia’s human rights record in 2020, in particular relating to those most at risk of rights abuses. A HRMI spokesperson said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with disabilities, people with low socioeconomic status, and refugees and asylum seekers were shown to be at risk of violations of every right measured by the tracker. 






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Address: Locked Bag Q199,

QVB NSW 1230

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