Australia announces refugee return reintegration package

16:17, November 09, 2010      

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Australian federal government on Tuesday announced a program of modest reintegration assistance to support the sustainable return of asylum seekers, who choose to return to their country of origin.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said it will offer incentives and help to asylum seekers to return to their country of origin.

The government will provide boat assistance and aids, which would consist primarily of job training and placement, and small business start-up support.

Bowen said the assistance recognizes that some asylum seekers are returning to a country they have not lived in for years, and where they may have limited assets and support networks.

"Properly targeted reintegration assistance for returned asylum seekers can minimize the risk that the return will be unsustainable, and that returnees will again become displaced," Bowen said in a statement on Tuesday.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will deliver the assistance and remain in contact with returned asylum seekers to determine the effectiveness of the program.

Bowen said similar assistance programs had been used by previous Australian governments, and were currently utilized by European countries to return asylum seekers who were not found to be owed protection.

Source: Xinhua

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