Amnesty works tirelessly to advocate for community-led, neighbourhood-driven solutions to increase our humanitarian intake and bring our share of refugees safely to Australia. In 2018 we are asking you to call for an improved community sponsorship program for Australia.Our community sponsorship campaign
My new neighbour
Fairer community sponsorship in Australia
We’re asking for a community-led solution for refugees that really works, is fair and accessible.
Promisingly, the Australian Government has introduced a pilot program for community sponsorship of refugees, where organisations like your local government or a business can sponsor a refugee, and maybe even their family, to come to Australia.
Australia’s current community sponsorship program aims to allow groups and individuals to provide refugees with employment prospects and support them in their settlement journey. But right now the process has a very high application cost, making it difficult for average Australians to help. And for every privately sponsored refugee, the government takes a space away from our annual humanitarian intake – depriving another person of the help they so badly need and passing the government’s own commitments along to everyday Australians.
When community sponsorship is fair and accessible, we know it works.
In the last 40 years Canadians have welcomed over 280,000 refugees into their neighbourhoods through community-led sponsorship. These people arrived in Canada in addition to their government’s annual humanitarian intake, and it was thanks to community groups, families and individuals – people just like you.
We need your help to make the Australian Government do their part too. Successive governments have failed to deliver a fair, safe and orderly system for refugees. It’s time to start focusing on the solutions. It’s time to start building power in our communities and wielding it.
How will we win?
We are asking local governments to also show their support for community sponsorship. Local government support can then help us shape the attitudes of Members of State and Federal Government.
People around the country, like you, can influence local governments by harnessing community support and lobbying your councillors.
Working in partnership with other organisations – we are a member of a coalition called Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI). CRSI is a joint project of the Refugee Council of Australia, Amnesty International, Save the Children Australia, Welcome to Australia, Rural Australians for Refugees and the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce. For more information about this group visit the CRSI website.
What you can do now
Every voice counts. Please sign the online petition to the Australian Immigration Minister, calling for a fairer community sponsorship program.
Got more time? Get your neighbourhood on board
Join other Amnesty supporters on the ground in encouraging your local government to support community sponsorship. If we can get local governments across Australia on board, we’ll be more likely to see the Commonwealth Government create a fairer community sponsorship program.
Once your local government comes out in support of a fairer community sponsorship program, we can give you more information on approaching your sporting clubs and other community groups.
What we can provide you with:
- A ‘campaigning for community sponsorship’ toolkit – everything you need to influence your local government.
- Want to know more about community sponsorship? We’ll provide you with a FAQ.
- Next steps for when your community is successful in gaining the support of your local government!
Ending offshore detention
With your help, Amnesty can continue campaigning to bring the people in Australia's offshore detention centres to safety.
Bringing people in offshore detention to safety
On the ground in Manus and Nauru
For over three years, the Australian Government has indefinitely trapped over 1,200 men, women and children on Nauru and over 800 men on Manus Island. Rather than assessing all people asking for protection in a fair, efficient and orderly way, the Australian Government has created a deliberate system of abuse of thousands of adults and children.
In Australia, we are working to:
- See an expanded and improved community sponsorship program.
- close Australia’s offshore immigration detention and processing centres
- end Australia’s policy of boat pushbacks for good
- ensure the Australian Government contributes to regional search and rescue operations
- establish a commitment from both major political parties in Australia to a regional approach to responsibility-sharing
- increase Australia’s annual humanitarian intake to a minimum of 30,000 places per year.
You can help: Fund our refugee work.
On the ground in Manus and Nauru
We are deeply concerned about what is happening at Australia’s offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru, and the lack of long-term solutions for those trapped there.
Amnesty International Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze went to Manus Island in late 2017 to document what is happening at the refugee detention centres. She found concerns over lack of access to food, power, water, medical and transport services for refugees, as well as the deteriorating mental health of refugees still in the centre. Refugees told Kate that they are also very concerned for their safety, and that all they want is their freedom and security.
We continue to call on the Australian Government to do the only humane thing — immediately bring the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island to safety in Australia.Close
Global refugee crisis
Over 1.19 million women, men and children need to be resettled in a safe country, yet only 30 countries offer just over 100,000 annual resettlement places.Read More
A safe place to live
Governments must do more so that people can rebuild their lives in safety – by humanely hosting more refugees, providing legal and safe routes for travel and admission, increasing resettlement places or fulfilling funding appeals.
Shared global solutions are needed to provide refugees with the protection and rights due to them. These are not special rights, they are simply human rights such as safe shelter, food and water, the opportunity to work, access to education and legal assistance.
By the end of 2015, 65.3 million people worldwide had been forced to leave their homes as a result of conflict, persecution, violence and human rights violations. Of these:
- 21.3 million people had to escape to another country. These people are referred to as refugees.
- 3.2 million people have sought safety in another country. These are people seeking asylum.
- 40.8 million people were displaced within their own country. These people are described as internally displaced persons.
Right now, the vast majority of the world’s refugees live in developing regions, with half of the 20 million refugees in just 10 countries.
Where do refugees go?
At the end of 2015, of the 21.3 million refugees:
- 5.2 million Palestinian refugees reside in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon or Syria.
- 4.4 million refugees were hosted in sub-Saharan Africa.
- More than 4 million people were hosted in Europe, which is an increase of 1.3 million from the previous year.
- Of the 4.4 million refugees in Europe, 2.5 million refugees lived in Turkey, most came from Syria and Iraq.
- The Asia and Pacific region hosted 3.8 million refugees.
- 2.7 million refugees were hosted in the Middle East and North Africa.
- The Americas hosted 746,800 refugees.
This is a global issue that requires all governments to do their fair share. Amnesty is campaigning for our governments to show decisive leadership and implement practical and innovative solutions so that refugees can rebuild their lives in safety.Close