Labor Commitment to 5000 Community Sponsorship Places Welcome

The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI) today celebrates the announcement of 5000 community sponsored refugee places by Federal Labor Leader, Bill Shorten in Adelaide.

CRSI members also welcome Labor’s commitment of $500 million to the work of the UNHCR in our region to strengthen asylum seeker assessment and resettlement processes.

CRSI has been strongly advocating for community sponsorship to play a greater role in the resettlement of refugees in Australia due to the benefits for both local communities and refugees.

International evidence has shown that community sponsorship delivers superior resettlement outcomes – including in education, employment and health – by ensuring refugees are supported and integrated into a community.

Save the Children Australia Director or Policy and International Programs, Mat Tinkler welcomed Labor’s commitment to community sponsorship of refugees.

“There are over 68 million people displaced from their homes around the world, fleeing persecution and conflict,” said Mr Tinkler.

“Community sponsorship is an effective, and cost-effective, way to ensure Australia does more to address this global refugee crisis.”

“Community sponsorship allows individuals and local groups to contribute, and indeed benefit from, the settlement of refugees in their town or suburb.”

“Bill Shorten and Australian Labor are to be congratulated for seeing the potential of community sponsorship and backing the generosity and capacity of the Australian people.”

Australia can learn from the experience of countries like Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom which already have extensive community sponsorship programs up and running.

Vice President of Rural Australians for Refugees, Margaret Rasa said there was great potential for country communities in the community sponsorship approach.

“Members of Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative look forward to working with a Labor Government on the implementation of this important policy if they are elected,” said Margaret Rasa.

“We strongly urge the Morrison Government to improve and expand the current community sponsorship program in-line with Labor’s commitment today.”

The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI) was established in 2017 by leading refugee advocates Save the Children Australia, Amnesty International, the Refugee Council of Australia, Rural Australians for Refugees, the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce and Welcome to Australia.