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About Refugees

A refugee, defined by the United Nations Convention, is any person who has a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership of a particular social group
  • Political opinion

According to the UNHCR we are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.  There are also 10 million stateless people.

About Asylum Seekers

Asylum seekers are people who have applied for protection and are awaiting determination of their status.

More information about asylum seekers including resources and information about healthcare access in Queensland here 


More Information

About Refugee Health

People of refugee background are affected by distinct health inequalities that arise from their experiences both prior to arrival in Australia and after arrival. These issues are often compounded by the effects of torture and trauma. Prior to arrival, some refugee clients may have had:

  • Interrupted access to health care
  • Limited access to safe drinking water, inadequate/interrupted access to nutritious food
  • Limited access to preventative care, medical treatment or health education
  • Experiences of uncertainty, deprivation, loss of dignity, separation from loved ones and being forced to make impossible decisions.
Even after arrival in Australia, obstacles remain such as:
  • High barriers to service access
  • Being a minority in an unfamiliar culture
  • Having to negotiate new systems (often with low English proficiency)
  • Ongoing separation from loved ones
  • Stress related to receiving bad news from country of origin/refuge
  • Not having vocational skills recognized

‘Refugee Transitions’ – Free downloads of the magazine from STARTTS here


Refugee Populations

Yazidi Population

The Yazidis are an emerging refugee community in Queensland. For more information

Syrian Population

Central African Republic

Rohingya refugees

Other Refugee Communities in Queensland

Greater Brisbane Refugee Health Advisory Group  reports about refugee communities in Brisbane. These reports inform health professionals about the health issues currently impacting on these communities.

Australian Refugee Health Guide (2018)

Why focus on Refugee Health – Includes information about people from refugee backgrounds and people seeking asylum in Australia, how people can be identified and common health concerns for people from refugee backgrounds. Read it here.

Report to the World Health Organization April 2018

A Rapid Review of Evidence-Based Information, Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Addressing the Health Needs of Refugees and Migrants – Report to the World Health Organization (April 2018) – Read the full report here.

Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Human Rights Snapshot Report (2nd ed.)

Published by the Human Rights Commission. Read the full report here.