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Australians supportive of refugees – survey

23 June 20220 comments

Australians are strongly in support of welcoming refugees in their communities, according to a new study.

The research, by Amnesty International Australia, came as the global community celebrates World Refugee Day

It was commissioned as part of Amnesty’s annual Human Rights Barometer and shows that 72 per cent of Australians support either maintaining or increasing Australia’s humanitarian intake, and that the majority of Australians support refugees being settled here.

Separate research by the Scanlon Foundation found that overwhelmingly, Australians felt migrants and refugees were good for the country.

“The statement ‘Immigrants are generally good for Australia’s economy’ was endorsed by 86 per cent, up from 76 per cent in 2019,” the Scanlon’s ‘Mapping Social Cohesion in Australia’ report found.

Australians’ support for multiculturalism, government and their fellow Aussies has survived the COVID pandemic with the nation’s social cohesion in “solid” shape

The survey found that Australia continues to be cohesive and we trust each other. Fifty-two per cent of people agreed that ‘most people can be trusted’ – up from 44 per cent last year. Australia is one of only five countries that can boast such a high figure

Amnesty refugee rights campaigner Zaki Haidari said that the federal election result was a chance to reset Australia’s refugee policy.  

“As we saw from the election result, Australians have embraced a kinder and fairer approach to refugee policy – now it’s time for the Albanese government to make good on its promise to abolish Temporary Protection visas as well as increasing the humanitarian intake to 30,000,” Mr Haidari, said.

The research also showed support for community sponsorship of refugees, and while a new and fairer program was announced at the end of 2021, Amnesty continues to call for community sponsorship to be additional to the humanitarian intake.

“The outpouring of love and support from the Australian and Biloela community for the Nadesalingham family and the joy at seeing them going home to the community who loves them shows how passionate communities are to support people in need of safety, and how integral they become to those communities,” Mr Haidari said.

“Australia has rejected the scare campaigns and have seen how devastating detention is on people whose only crime is to seek safety that we as a country are obliged to give them.”

The latest wave of the Amnesty International Human Rights Barometer also found that most Australians think the Federal Government spends too much tax payers money on keeping people seeking asylum in detention, and similarly, 57 per cent feel that if Australian communities have the money and resources to sponsor refugees so they can live in those communities, then they should be allowed to.