The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said that it had not received any asylum applications from South African white farmers, after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton expressed interest in the farmers in March. UNHCR further suggested that the group would not qualify for refugee status, noting that ‘[u]nder the 1951 Refugee Convention, a person must be outside their country of origin in order to claim asylum.’
The Australian High Court unanimously upheld a fast-track refugee assessment process introduced in 2014 to handle the claims of 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat before 2013.
Fifty refugees will soon depart Papua New Guinea and Nauru for resettlement in the United States, under a bilateral agreement between the Australian and American governments. According to The Guardian, 145 refugees have already left Nauru and 85 have left Papua New Guinea.
Refugee advocacy groups are lobbying the Australian Government to create a private refugee sponsorship avenue in Australia. The proposed Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI) would begin with 5000 additional places per year, in addition to Australia’s existing humanitarian intake.