“Less than one per cent of the world’s refugees are resettled through the UNHCR’s resettlement program and Australia resettles a small proportion of that one per cent, leaving the rest of the world to deal with the other 99 per cent.
Currently Lebanon hosts approximately 1.2 million refugees from Syria – around one in five people in the country. Jordan hosts about 650,000 refugees from Syria – 10% of the population. Turkey hosts 1.9 million refugees from Syria – more than any other country worldwide.
“Today’s announcement recognises this discrepancy and seeks to secure Australia’s place as a generous and prosperous country with a humanitarian heart.
Australia joining US-led military strikes in Syria
The announcement has been made alongside the decision for Australia to join US-led military strikes in Syria, targeting the Islamic State (IS).
“It is important that Australia enters this agreement ensuring it adheres to international law, including the protection of civilians during the conflict.
Less than one per cent of the world’s refugees are resettled through the UNHCR’s resettlement program and Australia resettles a small proportion of that one per cent, leaving the rest of the world to deal with the other 99 per cent.
“Any military action taken by Australia in Syria must ensure all possible steps are taken to avoid civilian casualties and air strikes are only directed at military targets.
Refugees must be allowed to join our communities
“While we welcome today’s news about the extra refugee places, it must be remembered that the few Syrians who have made it to our shores have now been languishing at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island for over two years.
“If the government is to be consistent in its approach, it must also give them refugee protection and allow them to be a part of the Australian community, to begin new lives, free from fear and persecution.”