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Australia eyes Philippines for refugees

October 8, 2015 6:23 pm

Australian media reports say Canberra is in talks with the Philippines for a transfer of some of the refugees it earlier sent to Papua New Guinea.

Hundreds of people are at Australian-run facilities on PNG’s Manus islands and a similar number of asylum-seekers and refugees are on Nauru as part of Australia’s policy to process them abroad.

The deal with Manila is reported to be worth more than 100 million US dollars and follows one struck with Cambodia, which has so far accepted a handful of refugees from Nauru.

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The opposition Greens say the government will be throwing good money after bad if it pursues a refugee deal with the Philippines.

Earlier this week, Australia’s immigration minister Peter Dutton said Canberra was considering several third party resettlement options for its refugees.

When Australia launched its policy of processing its asylum-seekers abroad in 2001, it unsuccessfully approached among others Tuvalu, Kiribati, Fiji, Palau and Tonga.

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