05 Aug '11, 5am

UN fears for children in Australia refugee swap

UN fears for children in Australia refugee swap

SYDNEY: The United Nations children's agency called on Australia Friday to scrap "inhumane" plans to send unaccompanied minors to Malaysia as part of a refugee swap. Canberra has refused to exempt children from the agreement under which it will send 800 boatpeople to Malaysia in return for accepting 4,000 registered refugees from Kuala Lumpur over a four-year period. The first boatload to be transferred arrived at the Christmas Island immigration detention centre on Thursday and there were 18 children, or people claiming to be minors, among the 55 onboard. About 13 of those children are believed to be travelling without parents or other guardians, and UNICEF said they should not be sent to Malaysia, which is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention. "UNICEF is extremely concerned about this deal. The numbers are not large and these children we absolutely say should not...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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