Increasing our refugee intake to 30,000, urgently abolishing temporary visas for people who arrived by boat, and transitioning all temporary visa-holders to permanent visas are among the key recommendations in ECCV’s submission to the Australian Government’s Humanitarian Program 2022-23.
Once recognised as world class, the Australian Humanitarian Program has over the last 20 years, received international criticism for being labelled as unsustainable and inhumane, undermined by cost-cutting measures and the reduction of humanitarian intake targets of the last successive governments.
ECCV’s submission reflects these long-standing concerns, about the direction of Australia’s immigration policy, and provides a roadmap for a way forward to ensure Australia meets its international obligations to protect refugees.
Our 24 recommendations also demonstrate the need for greater equity in how we respond to the urgent resettlement need, due record levels of forced international displacement, intensified by border closures brought on by the pandemic and civil unrest around the world. Australia’s capacity to respond to these needs by increasing the humanitarian intake, carrying over intake quotas that were not filled in the past two years, and supporting refugees throughout their resettlement journey is further emphasised in the submission.
Our submission draws particular attention to the urgent need to abolish temporary visas for people who arrived by boat and to transition all temporary visa-holders to permanent visas.
Other priority recommendations include:
- Reforming Australia’s administrative review system and abolishing the ‘fast track’ process
- Ending definition and mandatory immigration detention by considering the Ending Indefinite and Arbitrary Immigration Detention Bill 2022 currently before Parliament
- Increasing the size of the Humanitarian Program to 30,000, with view to progressively increasing the intake for both offshore and onshore visas
- Recognising the harmful impacts of family separation by streamlining and reducing the costs associated with the family reunification process.