Refugee Council of Australia – submission summary 2018-19 Humanitarian Program
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) consulted with over 700 people, including a wide range of organisations and
communities in developing its submission. The submission focuses on international protection needs, the
composition and structure of the Humanitarian Program, and includes 23 recommendations.
• A focus on resettling the most vulnerable - non-discriminatory, needs-based resettlement as assessed by UNHCR,
• An emphasis on family reunion,
• An additional response to protection needs in large-scale emergency situations, and
• Whole-of-government strategy for refugee protection together with relevant stakeholders and civil society,
bringing together diplomacy, aid, capacity-building and resettlement to address drivers of displacement.
• Address priority needs, including the situations in Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and
the Central African Republic,
• Allocate at minimum two-thirds of the Program to UNHCR referred Refugee visas (subclass 200),
• Urgently address the plight of Rohingya, including resettlement in Australia and a regional resettlement strategy,
• Establish a Children at Risk Program outside the Humanitarian Program,
• Establish a contingency quota for emergency responses over and above the annual Humanitarian Program
• Increase the Humanitarian Program to 30,000 (or retain 21,968 as in 2016-17 including Syrian/Iraqi intake) and
delink from onshore Permanent Protection Visa (PPV) grants,
• Develop a Humanitarian Family Reunion Program (10,000 places) outside the Humanitarian Program,
• Develop alternative migration pathways for refugees and their families, including opening up places in the
Migration Program with enhanced access (i.e. reduced or waived VAC, no-interest loans, and flexibility in
• Abolish Temporary Protection visas (TPVs) and remove cap on PPV grants.
Community Support Program (CSP):
• Issues: allocation of CSP places within the Humanitarian Program potentially reducing places available to the
most vulnerable; high costs; ‘job-ready’ criteria; strong focus on relationship between individuals and businesses
(and risk of relationship breakdown).
o Increase CSP size to 5,000 (growing to 10,000) outside the Humanitarian Program
o Places allocated to those in most urgent need as well as those seeking family reunion, with priority to
UNHCR referred candidates, and
o Sponsorship groups rather than individuals – groups to raise funds to cover the costs for refugees for
their first year in Australia.
Sponsored refugees to have access to Centrelink, but this cost covered by sponsorship group
RCOA proposed model to reduce the cost of sponsoring a family of five to between $20,000 and