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The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum says the Albanese Government’s move to increase the humanitarian intake by 2125 places per year is a positive step towards a more compassionate and principled response to people seeking asylum.

CAPSA, co-convened by Jesuit Social Services and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia, supports individuals, schools, parishes and Catholic organisations across education, health, refugee and social services in their advocacy for fair and humane treatment for people seeking asylum in Australia.

CAPSA co-chairs Julie Edwards, Jesuit Social Services chief executive, and Tamara Domicelj, JRS Australia country director, described the Government’s announcement on Friday to increase the humanitarian intake from 17,875 to 20,000 places per year as a lifeline for thousands of people seeking safety and welcome in Australia.

“The increase of more than 2000 additional places per year will provide thousands of people who have fled unimaginable danger with the stability and opportunity to build new lives in Australia where they can thrive,” Ms Edwards said. 

“This is a step to celebrate. We commend the federal Government on a decision which will provide welcome relief to thousands of people, and is a positive step towards rebuilding our broken immigration system after decades of inhumane, cruel and costly policies.”

The announcement comes at a time of record global displacement, with the UNHCR projecting more than 2.4 million people seeking asylum will be in need of resettlement in 2024, representing a 20 per cent increase.

“This is an opportunity for the federal Government to show global leadership through a principled and compassionate response to the increase in the number of people in need of asylum,” Ms Domicelj said.

“With an estimated two million people in urgent need of resettlement worldwide, CAPSA calls on the federal Government to honour and strengthen its humanitarian commitments expeditiously, and stands with the federal Government in support of this end.”