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Migration Australia, 2006-07 was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in April 2008. It contains statistics on international migration into and out of Australia, as well as interstate migration within Australia and information on overseas-born residents of Australia. Australia's migration is described in the context of the Government's migration program and in comparison with international migration experienced by other countries. (Source: http://www.abs.gov.au
viewed 23 April 2008.)

New beginnings: Life in Australia 2005–2006

The Australian government provides a comprehensive range of settlement services for 13,000 humanitarian entrants and other eligible migrants each year.

A significant proportion of the current humanitarian intake is young.
In 2005–06 about 66% were under the age of 25 and about 42% were under the age of 15.

Source: Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, New Beginnings: Life in Australia: Supporting new arrivals on their settlement journey 2005–06 [viewed 20/9/2007].

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Children in immigration detention 1999–2003

Between 1999 and 2003, 2,184 children were held in detention. More than 90% of them were eventually found to have a legitimate claim to refugeee status.

Children in immigration detention in 1999–2000: 976
… in 2000–01: 1,923
… in 2001–02: 1,696
… in 2002–03: 703
On 26 December 2003: 111
Most of these children arrived by boat.

From late January 2000, most unaccompanied asylum-seeker children were transferred from immigration detention centres to 'alternative places of detention' such as foster homes in the community.

Where children were held between July 1999 and July 2003:

Detention Centre 1.7.99 1.1.00 1.7.00 1.1.01 1.7.01 1.1.02 1.7.02 1.1.03 1.7.03
Curtin - 147 133 167 153 63 33 - -
Port Hedland 27 91 142 64 128 85 11 20 14
Woomera - 118 215 16 304 281 45 11 -
Woomera
Housing Project
- - - - - 7 0 6 10
Villawood 19 32 32 28 37 16 14 32 29
Maribyrnong 11 9 4 11 7 3 10 3 5
Perth 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Christmas Island - - - - - 79 10 5 -
Cocos K. Islands - - - - - 5 - - -
Baxter - - - - - - - 38 41
Other (hospitals,
etc.)
1 2 16 1 2 4 14 17 11
Total number
of children
in detention
58 399 542 287 631 543 138 132 111

At the beginning of 2003, the average detention period for a child was 15 months and 17 days.
At 26 December 2003 it was 20 months and 11 days.

Between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2003, 37% of asylum seeker children in detention were girls. The majority of children in detention were under 12.

Children in immigration detention centres by age:

Age of children as at
30 June each year
0–4 years 5–11 years 12–17 years
1999 23 15 23
2000 164 208 162
2001 144 210 278
2002 33 54 53
2003 32 29 52

Most of the children in detention 1999–2003 were from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, the Palestinian territories and Sri Lanka.

Number of asylum-seeking children arriving in Australia without a valid visa between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2003: 2,184
Percentage found to be refugees and granted temporary protection visas: over 92%
(including 98% of Iraqi children and 95% of Afghan children)
These figures do not include children transferred to and detained on Nauru and Manus Island (Papua New Guinea).

Number of asylum-seeking children arriving in Australia with a valid visa between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2003: 3,125
Percentage found to be refugees: 25%

Source: Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission 2004: A Last Resort – Summary Guide – A summary of the important issues, findings and recommendations of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, HREOC, Sydney [viewed 25/01/2007].
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Young refugees, 2000–01

Number of refugees aged 12 to 25 years who came to Australia in 2000–01: 3,853
58.8% came through the offshore component and 41.2% through the onshore component of the Humanitarian Program.

Number on temporary protection visas: 1,462
(The largest group of all refugee young people, representing 43% of all temporary protection visas granted for that year.)

In the Offshore Program, half (51.4%) came as refugees and 39.1% through the Special Humanitarian Program. The remainder (9.5%) came through the Special Assistance Category.

Number of young people who were unauthorised arrivals in Australia in 2000–01: 1,266

Percentage of unauthorised arrivals: 31%

Percentage of all detained young asylum seekers recognised as refugees: 83%

There were 218 young people under 18 years in the Humanitarian Unaccompanied Minors Scheme in May 2001. 48% were unauthorised arrivals who had been granted temporary protection visas.

Estimated number of young people with refugee experience in Australia in 2003: 16,000– 20,000

Source: Susan Pitman, et al. 2004, Profile of young Australians: Facts, figures and issues [viewed 25/01/2007], Foundation for Young Australians, Melbourne, pp.43–4.

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Young people in immigration detention centres, 2001

Percentage of people in immigration detention centres in April 2002 aged under 18: 11.2%
… number aged between 18 and 25 years: not known
… of the 184 minors in immigration detention, 81 were aged 12–17 (44%)

Young asylum seekers from Iran made up the largest group in detention (38%) followed by those from Afghanistan (28%) and Iraq (16%).

Just on two-thirds of all minors had been in detention nine months or more in April 2000 (64.7%). Young detainees under 18 years made up 11.9% of all those who had been in detention for more than 18 months.

Source: Susan Pitman, et al. 2004, Profile of young Australians: Facts, figures and issues, Foundation for Young Australians, Melbourne, pp.44–5. Available online [viewed 25/01/2007] in pdf format.

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Children of asylum seekers held in Australian detention centres, 2003

Number of accompanied minors held in Immigration Reception and Processing Centres, Offshore Processing Centres, and Urban Immigration Detention Centres as at 13/11/03:
Baxter: 22
Port Headland: 15
Christmas Island: 15
Woomera: 7
Nauru: 89
Maribyrnong: 1
Perth: 0
Villawood: 32

Source: Refugee Council of Australia website.

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Time in detention centres, April 2002

The following table shows the amount of time that minors (aged 18 or less) had spent in immigration detention centres as at April 2002:

Time in detention
centre
Percentage of
minors
0–3 months 7%
3–6 months 6%
6–9 months 23%
9–12 months 20%
12–18 months 29%
18 months or more 15%

Source: Adapted from a chart reproduced in Susan Pitman, et al. 2004, Profile of young Australians: Facts, figures and issues, Foundation for Young Australians, Melbourne, p.45. Available online [viewed 25/01/2007] in pdf format.

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Young arrivals in Australia under Humanitarian Program 1991–2000

Number of young people (12-24) who arrived in Australia under the Humanitarian Program as permanent residents between 1991 and 2000: 25,000

Table 1: Young people aged 12–24 years, entering Australia under the Humanitarian Program, by age group, 1991–2000


12-15 years 16-17 years 18-24 years Total
1991 499 248 1149 1896
1992 581 306 1613 2500
1993 659 319 1490 2468
1994 810 386 1769 2965
1995 1040 445 1779 3264
1996 838 380 1359 2577
1997 671 306 881 1858
1998 1210 486 1259 2955
1999 831 373 878 2082
2000 756 372 939 2067
Source: DIMIA Settlement Database (IA1029 MRAOCDBK)

Table 2: Young people aged 12–24 years, entering Australia under the Humanitarian Program, by region/ country of birth, 1991–2000


Europe &
Baltic
Middle East Africa Asia South & Central
America
Total
1991 29 384 67 941 248 1896
1992 511 846 173 818 152 2500
1993 956 249 279 915 65 2468
1994 1074 496 276 1062 42 2965
1995 1379 834 251 741 59 3264
1996 1304 390 289 551 35 2577
1997 803 406 282 349 18 1858
1998 1408 675 444 419 9 2955
1999 844 616 342 274 6 2082
2000 933 494 394 235 11 2067
Source: DIMIA Settlement Database (IA1029 MRAOCDBK)
Small discrepancies between the total of the regional figures and the total intake of young humanitarian entrants are due to a small number of cases where information was missing at the time the settlement database was compiled.

Statistics from the National Settlement Database, produced by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, are presented in a report which includes a statistical profile of young refugees in Australia. These statistics, the report notes, do not account for young people who arrive under the Family Stream of the Migration Program, or those on temporary protection visas.

Source: Coventry, L., Guerra, C, Mackenzie, D & Pinkney, S. 2002, Wealth of All Nations: Identification of strategies to assist refugee young people in transition to independence, National Youth Affairs Research Scheme, Hobart, pp. 29-34. NYARS reports are available for download from the FaHCSIA website.
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