RCOA: Economic Migrants or Refugees?

ECONOMIC MIGRANTS OR REFUGEES?

ANALYSIS OF REFUGEE RECOGNITION RATES FOR BOAT ARRIVALS, 1976-2015

Refugee Council of Australia: March 2016

For many years, Australian politicians and other public figures have debated whether or not asylum seekers reaching Australia by boat have serious claims for refugee protection or are merely “economic migrants”. To answer this question, the Refugee Council of Australia has analysed Australian Government statistics about visa outcomes for boat arrivals from 1976 to 30 June 2015

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CONCLUSION Refugee recognition rate for Australia’s boat arrivals to June 2015: 81% From the above statistics sourced from the Immigration Department and the Australian Parliament, we conclude that 37,491 asylum seekers who reached Australia by boat between January 1976 and June 2015 have had some decision about their refugee status. Of these, we estimate that 81.1% (30,400 people) have been given permanent or temporary protection in Australia or elsewhere.

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