Politics

Apr 17, 2009

Asylum seekers, the facts in figures

Crunching the numbers on asylum seekers worldwide helps put the number of recent refugee boats in Australian waters into perspective.

  • Number of refugees* around the world: 37.4 million -- UNHCR
  • Current quota for refugees coming into Australia: 12,000 -- Myths and Facts about Refugees
  • Number of requests for asylum received by European countries in the past two decades: 6.3 million -- Myths and Facts about Refugees
  • Number of requests for asylum received by Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the past two decades: 107,000 -- Myths and Facts about Refugees
  • Number of refugee boats intercepted this year coming to Australia: 6 -- The Brisbane Times
  • Amount to be spent on detention operations, including $85.8 million for new detention contracts in 2008 -- 09: $120 million -- Refugee Council
  • Amount spent on detention in 07-08: $142 million
  • Number of people granted refugee status in Australia in 2007-08, out of a total of 13, 014 humanitarian visas granted: 6004 -- Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Number of asylum applications registered in 2008 for industrialized countries according to the United Nations: 383,000 -- UNHCR
  • Number of asylum seekers who arrived last year: 4750 -- Malcolm Farr, The Daily Telegraph
  • Number who arrived by boat: 179 -- Malcolm Farr, The Daily Telegraph
  • Asylum seekers found at sea off Australia so far this year: 221 -- The Daily Tele
  • Percentage of asylum seekers who arrive by air: more than 95% -- Malcolm Farr, The Daily Telegraph
  • Amount of money spent on the Pacific Solution over five years: More than $1 billion -- SMH
  • Cost per person to be processed in Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island: more than $500,000 -- SMH
  • The cost of holding asylum seekers on the mainland as a percentage of the running costs of the Pacific Solution, based on Department of Immigration estimates: 3.5 per cent. -- SMH
  • Percentage increase in the number of asylum applications worldwide between 2007 and 2008: 12% -- UNHCR
  • Increase in the number of asylum applications in Australia between 2007 and 2008: 19% -- The Australian
  • Increase in the number of asylum applications in Finland between 2007 and 2008: 181% -- The Australian
  • Number of asylum seekers confirmed dead after yesterday’s boat explosion off Ashmore Reef: 3 -- SMH
  • Number of asylum seekers who drowned on the SIEV X on October 19, 2001: 353 -- SMH
  • Children who perished on the SIEV X: 146 -- The Daily Telegraph
  • Asylum applications submitted by Afghans in 2008: 18,500 -- UNHCR
  • Number of asylum applications submitted by Afghans in 2002: 29,400 -- UNHCR
  • Percentage increase in the number of asylum applications worldwide from Afghanistan in 2008: 85% -- UNHCR
  • Asylum applications originating in Iraq in 2008: 11% -- UNHCR
  • Average number of new asylum claims lodged by Iraqis between 2000 and 2002: 50,000 -- UNHCR
  • Number of new asylum claims lodged by Iraqis in 2008: 40,500 -- UNHCR
  • Asylum seekers who made it to Australian shores at the height of the Vietnam crisis in the late 70s: 1000 -- Daily Telegraph
  • Number of refugees accepted into Australia in the early 1980s: 20,000 -- Myths and facts about Refugees
  • Cost of detainment per person, per day on Christmas Island (as of 2007): $1830 -- SMH
  • Cost of detainment per person, per day at Sydney's Villawood detention centre (as of 2007): $238 -- SMH
  • Number of people who overstayed their visas as of 30 June 05: 47,800 -- Immigration Department
  • Places offered for resettlement of Iraqis in 08-09 who have assisted the Australian military (at a cost to Australia of $42 million over four years) -- up to 600 -- Refugee Council
  • Number of persons in immigration detention at some time during 2006-2007: 5485 -- HREOC
  • Total number of persons in immigration detention in Australia as of 12 September 2008: 274 -- HREOC
  • Number of these detained people who were unauthorized boat arrivals: 6 -- HREOC
  • Number of these detained people who were unauthorized air arrivals: 40 -- HREOC
  • Number of refugees in Colombia due to conflict between government and illegal armed groups and drug traffickers) (2007): 1.8-3.5 million -- CIA
  • Year when the United Nations High Commission for Refugees became operational: 1951 -- HREOC
*A Refugee is a person recognised as a refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention/ 1967 Protocol or the 1969 OAU Convention. An Asylum-seeker is a person whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure or who is otherwise registered as an asylum-seeker. – Refugee Council of Australia

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