Abbott promises to allow more refugees as crisis deepens

AUSTRALIA will open its doors to more refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday the government would look to help families, women and children as the humanitarian crisis deepens.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton flies to Geneva this week for talks with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

"We are proposing to take more people from this region as part of our very substantial commitment to the UNHCR," said Mr Abbott.

"Our focus will be on families and women and children."

Coalition and opposition MPs urged Mr Abbott to let more refugees in after photos of the lifeless body of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi gave a human face to the crisis last week.

In 2014-15, more than 4400 people from Syria and Iraq settled in Australia.