Who bears the cost of Australia's Special Humanitarian Program?

Research into the impact of travel costs on new Special Humanitarian entrants and their proposers

14 Jul 2008

Many new Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) arrivals are living in poverty as they try to repay the cost of their travel to Australia, according to this report. Many SHP proposers were forced to arrange loans to cover travel costs through informal networks, leaving the new arrivals to begin repaying the loans as soon as they arrived in Australia. The debt burden contributed to new arrivals living in overcrowded conditions and increased their exposure to poverty, malnutrition, homelessness and bankruptcy. The report recommends that the Australian government cover the travel costs of SHP arrivals as it does for offshore refugee visa entrants or acts to broaden access to interest-free travel loans.

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