In brief

There are currently more than 100 million people displaced around the world today. Despite this, Australia's annual intake of refugees through the Refugee and Humanitarian Program dropped to its lowest level in 45 years during the COVID period. While it has subsequently increased in recent years it’s still well below levels promised by the government. This means that as people from Sudan, Afghanistan and Myanmar flee their homes and everything they’ve ever known, Australia’s dragging its heels in supporting countries of first asylum. In October 2023, Amnesty staff travelled to Bangladesh alongside Médecins Sans Frontières and UNHCR to the world's largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. In August 2017, Myanmar's military unleashed a brutally violent campaign on the country's Rohingya minority. To date, nearly one million women, men and children have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh. The Rohingya brought with them accounts of Myanmar security forces carrying out mass killings, torture, and rape and burning entire villages. In March 2022, the government of the United States declared that a genocide had been perpetrated against the Rohingya during the 2017 atrocities.The vast majority of Myanmar’s Rohingya have no legal status, having been effectively deprived of a nationality as a result of discriminatory laws, policies and practices.

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Three young children walking down a road with suitcases.

Amnesty's work on the issue

We campaign for a world where human rights can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what situation they’re in. Amnesty has championed the human rights of refugees, people seeking asylum and migrants for decades.

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What needs to happen

In the latest federal budget announcement in May 2023, despite promises to raise the humanitarian intake, it stayed exactly the same. While an announcement was made in October to increase the program to 20,000, this is still short of the government’s commitment to 27,000. It’s crucial that we raise our collective voices and hold them to their promise.

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Take Action Now

1 in every 78 people are forced to flee their homes around the world. Join the movement of people working to defend the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

Our Wins

Our movement changes lives. We celebrate the small wins, and the big moments because we know that every step our world takes away from injustice, is a step closer to a world in which human rights are enjoyed by all.

Australians celebrate as improvements to refugee sponsorship program announced, but those sponsored must be in addition to the Federal Government’s existing humanitarian quota