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Australia will send children to Malaysia in asylum deal

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Australia will send children to Malaysia in asylum deal

Post by shammy on Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:23 pm

The authorities in Australia have announced plans to send unaccompanied children seeking asylum to Malaysia.

They would be held in detention centres while their cases are processed.

Australia's immigration minister, Chris Bowen, said it would send a strong message to deter people-smugglers selling passage to asylum seekers.

The move is part of a controversial swap being negotiated with Malaysia under which some Malaysia-based refugees would be settled in Australia.

"I don't want unaccompanied minors, I don't want children getting on boats to come to Australia thinking or knowing that there is some sort of exemption in place," Mr Bown told ABC TV late on Thursday.

He said it would send a strong message and break the business model of the people smugglers who sell passage to asylum seekers hoping to start a new life in Australia.

He spoke of how he hoped he would never again have to see children buried as a result of an overloaded boat trying to reach Australia's shores. Last December, an asylum-seekers' boat smashed onto rocks at Christmas Island, killing at least 30 people, including children and babies.


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