Economic Migrants or Refugees? Research and Facts from RCOA

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For many years, Australian politicians and other public figures have debated whether or not asylum seekers reaching Australia by boat have serious claims for refugee protection or are merely “economic migrants”. To answer this question, the Refugee Council of Australia has analysed Australian Government statistics about visa outcomes for boat arrivals from 1976 to 30 June 2015 – and found that 81% of those who arrived by boat seeking asylum in Australia were found to be refugees.

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