A photo of Parliament House in Canberra, set against a deep blue sky

Amnesty International dismayed by Labor abandoning promised increase to Humanitarian Intake in Federal Budget

In response to announcements made in the Federal Budget, Refugee Rights Campaigner Zaki Haidari says,

“In 2022, Labor committed to increase the annual refugee and humanitarian intake to 27,000 with 10,000 additional places for the community sponsored places. However, they failed to deliver on the promise they made to the Australian people before the election.”

“We welcome the support for settlement services in the federal budget to improve the sustainability of settlement and promote better economic and social outcomes for refugees and migrants. However, the need for resettlement of refugees is higher than ever before with over 110 million displaced people around the world. It was time for the Labor government to take leadership and respond to the current crisis which is unfolding in our region and the world by providing at least 40,000 places for the most vulnerable people.”

“Minority groups, thousands of protestors, opposition politicians and women are being killed, arrested and tortured by brutal regimes in Gaza, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iran. Civilians are suffering from conflict escalations in Sudan and Ukraine. Women’s and girls’ rights are being violated. LGBTQIA+ communities are at risk. People who have fled persecution are languishing in refugee camps and impermanent, poor living conditions in Bangladesh, the Thai-Myanmar border region and Indonesia.”

“Other countries are doing their best to respond to the current humanitarian and refugee crisis, such as Canada, which has committed to resettling approximately 50,000 refugees annually.

It is very disappointing that there is no real commitment from the Labor government to respond to the current refugee and displacement crisis.

Zaki Haidari, Refugee Rights Campaigner


AIA 2024 budget submission recommended that the Australian Government:

1) Commit to increasing the offshore Humanitarian Program to 30,000 places per annum in the 2024-25 Budget, with the vast majority being visa subclass 200 (UNHCR referred) refugees;

2) De-link the onshore component of the Humanitarian Program from the offshore component;

3) Within the Humanitarian Program, include unallocated quotas that can thereby be used in a flexible way for urgent and emergency cases;

4) Further reform Australia’s two private sponsorship programs, the CSP and CRISP, so that they are in addition to Australia’s regular Refugee and Humanitarian Program; and that the number of places offered under the CSP and CRISP be increased to a combined 10,000 places per annum;

5) Establish a targeted quota for Rohingya refugees, including taking a leading role in resettling Rohingya refugees out of Bangladesh;

6) Make an additional 3,500 places available for Afghan refugees in addition to the 16,500 places already committed, and existing applications be expedited and prioritised, particularly those in Pakistan, as a matter of urgency;

7) Establish a uniform process that would facilitate additional emergency intakes when crises like those we are seeing now occur and transition Palestinians who have arrived in Australia since the conflict in Gaza to 786 Safe Haven Visas.

Amnesty International Australia will continue to work alongside refugees and people seeking asylum to secure key reforms and much-needed federal funding from the Albanese government.