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Stephanie

Stephanie Cousins

Year of Award: 2017 Award State: New South Wales Social Welfare > Immigrants And Refugees
To identify safe pathways for refugees and asylum seekers - Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Canada, USA
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Conflict, political and environmental crises are conspiring to forcibly displace more and more people from their homes around the world today. Australia needs to do much more to provide safe haven to forcibly displaced people, and I believe there is much we can learn from other countries in this regard.

Through this Churchill Fellowship I set out to explore, document and share evidence from around the world about how other countries have managed to welcome large numbers of refugees and displaced people into their communities.

As part of the Fellowship I visited Brazil, USA, Canada, Italy, Germany and Switzerland between 26 April and 29 June 2018. While travelling I wrote about the lessons from these countries on www.makerefuge.org

While I covered a lot of ground with the Fellowship and through the blog, this report focuses on an in-depth assessment of two big ideas I think would have the greatest positive impact if adopted by Australia:

  • Humanitarian admission: Australia should provide a flexible humanitarian admissions pathway for people seeking asylum, which provides a genuine alternative to unsafe and irregular migration – drawing on lessons from Brazil, Italy, Germany and the USA.
  • Refugee community sponsorship: Australia should expand and improve its refugee resettlement program by embracing refugee sponsorship – drawing on lessons from Canada.

With some creativity and government leadership we can create safer pathways for refugees and people seeking asylum. All it requires is political will.
 
Keywords: Asylum seekers, community sponsorship, complementary pathways, conflict, displacement, forced migration, humanitarian admission, immigration policy, migration, private sponsorship, resettlement, safer pathways, visas

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