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Australia 'generous' on migrants
22 May 2015 10:10
Australia has rejected criticism of its response to thousands of migrants stranded at sea in Southeast Asia, saying it is generous towards refugees in the region.
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When asked whether Australia would offer to resettle the migrants from Burma (also known as Myanmar) and Bangladesh's oppressed Rohingya minority, Prime Minister Tony Abbott replied, "nope, nope, nope".
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The reaction led an Indonesian official to suggest the country was shirking its responsibilities under the United Nations Refugee Convention.
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But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Australia's hardline policy, which includes refusing to resettle asylum-seekers who arrive on boats and turning back vessels, had helped stop people risking their lives at sea.
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Australia was a significant donor to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Indonesia, he said.
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"The fact is we provide, by way of donor support, the largest amount of money to the IOM and to the UNHCR in Indonesia," Mr Dutton said.
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