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Australia’s Humanitarian Program

Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and has accepted approximately 750,000 people under its Humanitarian Program since around the time of World War II.

Australia accepts around 13,750 humanitarian entrants each year, of which approximately 4000 settle in NSW. This was increased to 20,000 places in 2012-2013. In the last year that data is available (2010-2011), the main countries of origin were Burma, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iraq, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Australia’s humanitarian program has two components:

  1. Onshore asylum/protection component – offers protection to asylum seekers in Australia who are found to be refugees according to the UN refugee convention or for other reasons under complementary protection
  2. Offshore resettlement component – offers resettlement to refugees and people from refugee-like backgrounds who are overseas

Read more about the onshore and offshore components of Australia’s Humanitarian Program at the website of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.


Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS)

HSS provide intensive resettlement support to all offshore and onshore humanitarian program entrants.

Clients are provided with case management, accommodation services and a structured orientation program, and normally remain in the program for 6-12 months. Exit from the program is based on basic settlement needs being met related to long-term accommodation, the enrolment of children in school, and links to relevant services and the knowledge to access them.

Read more about the HSS on the website of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.


HSS providers for NSW are:

Read more about Australia’s Humanitarian Program on the website of the Department of immigration and Citizenship.

Refugees and other humanitarian entrants resettling in Australia are an incredibly diverse group representing many different cultures, ethnicities, language groups, levels of education, professional backgrounds, rural and urban dwellers, etc.