Oxfam Praises Australian Government Over Refugee Resettlement But Says More Needs To Be Done

Syrian Refugees

Oxfam the aid agency said the Government of Australia should allow more refugees into the country following the announcement that 12,000 visas were awarded to Syrian and Iraqi refugees.  The Australian Government runs a resettlement programme for refugees and Oxfam reiterated it was pleased with the decision to resettle all the refugees the country had committed to doing back in 2015 said Oxfam spokesperson Nicole Bieske in a statement.

Fleeing the violence

The civil war in Syria has taken a dire turn recently with the alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians by Syria’s military. The conflict has resulted in more than 5 million people fleeing the violence. Tony Abbot the then Australian Prime Minister announced a one-off resettlement programme in 2015 that sought to take in 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. That commitment was made in addition to Australia’s annual intake of 13,750 refugees.

More refugees should be accepted

Ms Bieske added that considering the success of the resettlement programme as well as the ongoing fighting and humanitarian disaster in both countries, Australia should be striving to settle more Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Ms Bieske pointed out that there is a growing resistance towards refugees and policies have become more restricted in the US, UK and EU. She said she would prefer to see Australia doing much more to help properly assessed Syrian refugees and offer more support in local communities to assist their integration into Australian society.

Resettlement should not be based on religion

Bob Bowker who previously served as Australian Ambassador to Syria said in an interview, that Australia’s response must be based on common humanity and not on the basis of religion. The resettlement programme has come under criticism by identifying persecuted minorities for resettlement and was actually showing a preference for Christians over other religions or sects.

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