John Menadue. A dismal humanitarian response to the Syrian tragedy: political inertia, bureaucratic failure and security obsession.

Mar 20, 2016

In earlier blogs I have highlighted the contrast between Canada and Australia’s programs to settle Syrian refugees.

Australia continues to be a laggard.

In Parliament last week, the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, said that a total of 29 refugees had been settled as part of a 12,000 intake that Tony Abbott had announced in September last year.

In November last year, the Canadian government announced that it would accept 25,000 Syrian refugees. The latest official figures from the Canadian government reveal that 26,176 Syrian refugees had arrived. Many more are in process.

The arrival of only 29 refugees from Syria in Australia points to the lack of political will by the Australian government, the inability of the new Department of Immigration and Border Protection to respond quickly and the inordinate delays as a result of ASIO checks.

Political inertia, bureaucratic failure and security obsession has resulted in a dismal humanitarian response.

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