CAPSA welcomes Federal Government’s humanitarian intake increase

The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) welcomes the Federal Government’s move to increase the humanitarian intake by 2,125 places per year, calling it a positive step towards a more compassionate and principled response to people seeking asylum.

CAPSA, co-convened by Jesuit Social Services and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia, supports individuals, schools, parishes and Catholic organisations across education, health, refugee and social services in their advocacy for fair and humane treatment for people seeking asylum in Australia.

CAPSA Co-Chairs Julie Edwards, Jesuit Social Services CEO, and Tamara Domicelj, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia Country Director, described the Federal Government’s announcement on Friday to increase the humanitarian intake from 17,875 to 20,000 places per year as a lifeline for thousands of people seeking safety and welcome in Australia.

“The increase of more than 2,000 additional places per year will provide thousands of people who have fled unimaginable danger with the stability and opportunity to build new lives in Australia where they can thrive,” says Ms Edwards.

“This is a step to celebrate. We commend the Federal Government on a decision which will provide welcome relief to thousands of people, and is a positive step towards rebuilding our broken immigration system after decades of inhumane, cruel and costly policies.”

The announcement comes at a time of record global displacement, with the UNHCR projecting more than 2.4 million people seeking asylum will be in need of resettlement in 2024, representing a 20 per cent increase.

Against a concerning trend of escalating and protracted global crises, CAPSA calls on the Federal Government to move swiftly to enact its stated goal to 27,000 places, and to strengthen its own ambition by expanding Australia’s humanitarian program beyond that number.

“This is an opportunity for the Federal Government to show global leadership through a principled and compassionate response to the increase in the number of people in need of asylum,” says Ms Domicelj.

“With an estimated two million people in urgent need of resettlement worldwide, CAPSA calls on the Federal Government to honour and strengthen its humanitarian commitments expeditiously, and stands with the Federal Government in support of this end.”