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17 Jun 2024


Australia needs to increase its humanitarian intake in response to record-breaking displacement. 

We are calling for urgent action to lift Australia’s humanitarian intake, as new research from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows the number of people experiencing forced displacement increased at a record-breaking rate in 2023. 

The UNHCR’s Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2023 has found that more than 117 million people were forcibly displaced by violence, conflict, and persecution in 2023 – up by almost 9 million people from the prior year.  

Forced displacement is estimated to have continued rising in the first four months of 2024, likely surpassing 120 million by the end of April. 

For the past 12 years, the UNHCR has recorded annual increases in forced displacement, with each year setting a new record. 

This record-breaking displacement highlights the need for the Australian government to uplift the humanitarian intake to respond to pressing global need. 

We are calling on the Australian government to meet its commitment to increase the humanitarian intake from 20,000 places to 27,000 places per annum. 

Despite the rapidly growing need for resettlement places, the size of Australia’s Humanitarian Program had remained relatively stagnant for decades.  

Scaling up the program would help address the significant global shortfall in resettlement places, reunite refugees already in Australia with their families, and showcase Australia’s commitment to being a responsible global citizen. 

There is also widespread recognition globally of the need for a range of permanent and secure pathways for the growing numbers of refugees around the world. This includes complementary pathways such as community sponsorship. It is an innovative solution that enables everyday community members to step up to protect people displaced by conflict and persecution. 

Australia’s refugee resettlement sector has the skills and expertise to quickly scale up and support an increased refugee intake. We simply ask the government to open the door. 

Read the UNHCR’s full report here:


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