To kick start Refugee Week today, 51 people
who arrived through the Humanitarian Programme have been welcomed by Australia
and become Australian citizens.
The Minister for Immigration and Border
Protection Peter Dutton presided over the citizenship ceremony at WELCOMEfest
in Brisbane today.
Mr Dutton said Refugee Week is an opportunity
to acknowledge Australia’s successful settlement of about 825,000 refugees
through the Humanitarian Programme.
“Our newest citizens come from 16 different
countries including Somalia, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and
Afghanistan,” Mr Dutton said.
“WELCOMEfest is an opportunity for Brisbane
to celebrate the different cultures that make Australia who we are and enrich
“I am proud that Australia’s Humanitarian
Programme is on track to offer 13,750 places, which includes a minimum of
11,000 places for the offshore component for people in humanitarian need
The Government has increased the Woman at
Risk programme to 1,000 places. This programme is a very important component of
the Humanitarian Programme as it protects refugee women and their children who
are at risk, and have been victims of gender-based violence, exploitation and
The Government has also responded to the call
from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for a
coordinated resettlement response to the Syrian refugee crisis, with a
multi-year commitment for Syrian refugees of a minimum of 4,500 places over
three years from 2014-15.
This year will mark the resettlement of
100,000 refugees from the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan living in refugee camps
in Nepal as part of the largest UNHCR-led international resettlement of its
Australia celebrates its part by successfully
resettling almost 5,500 refugees from Bhutan – making Australia the third
largest resettlement country.
Refugee Week is being celebrated around the
country between Sunday 14 June and Saturday 20 June to coincide with
international events marking World Refugee Day on 20 June.