In 2011, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated 42.5 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced due to conflict and persecution, including 15.2 million refugees, 895,000 asylum seekers and 26.4 million internally displaced people.
Australia received a total of 14,415 onshore applications (asylum seekers arriving by boat and plane) for protection in 2011-12, including 7,983 applications from asylum seekers arriving by boat. This figure represents 2.5 per cent of asylum applications made in all industrialised countries, placing Australia 13th in number of applications globally.
In 2011-12, the onshore protection component of the Refugee and Humanitarian Program was larger than the offshore resettlement component for the first time, with 7,039 onshore protection visas issued and 6,720 offshore visas granted.
As at 31 December 2012, there were 7,237 people in immigration detention facilities and alternative places of detention, including 5,005 in immigration detention on the mainland and 2,232 in immigration detention on Christmas Island. Separately, 1,822 people had been approved to live in the community (community detention) while awaiting their refugee status determination.
As at 31 December 2012, there were 1,221 children in immigration detention facilities and alternative places of detention.
 Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Asylum Trends Australia 2011-12 – Annual Publication.
 UNHCR, Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, 2011. Available at www.unhcr.org/4541d30c2.html. Accessed on 13 March 2013.
 Discussion Paper, RCOA Submission on Australia’s 2013-14 Refugee and Humanitarian Program, 5 October 2012. Available at www.refugeecouncil.org.au/r/isub/2013-14-IntakeSub-paper.pdf
 www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/detention/_pdf/immigration-detention-statistics-20121231.pdf page 4. Accessed on 7 Mar. 13
 www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/detention/_pdf/immigration-detention-statistics-20121231.pdf page 7. Accessed on 7 Mar. 13