Nine month pause on UNHCR referrals

Nine month pause on UNHCR referrals
AAP, SBS News Online, 10 July 2015

For the past nine months the federal government secretly stopped adding United Nations-approved refugees to its resettlement waiting list.

The federal government has been blocking United Nations-approved refugees from its resettlement waiting list for the past nine months, according to a high level source.

The government instigated a pause on accepting new referrals from the UN’s refugee agency from October last year, and which was due to be lifted on January 31, according to documents obtained by AAP under freedom of information laws.

But now a high level source familiar with the matter has told AAP the suspension actually remained in place until June 30 and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is still awaiting official confirmation that the decision’s been reversed.

Former immigration minister Scott Morrison initiated the referral ban, which wasn’t publicly revealed.