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Australia offers asylum seekers up to almost $12,000 to return home

Published on Jun 21, 2014 1:01 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia is offering asylum seekers in its Pacific immigration camps up to A$10,000 (S$11,745) if they voluntarily return to their home country, a report said on Saturday, prompting outrage from refugee campaigners.

Fairfax Media reported that those returning to Lebanon from detention centres on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and the tiny Pacific state of Nauru were offered the highest amount of A$10,000.

Iranians and Sudanese were given A$7,000 if they dropped bids for refugee status, Afghans A$4,000 and those from Pakistan, Nepal and Myanmar A$3,300, the report in The Sydney Morning Herald said.

The Herald said under the previous Labor administration - in office until last September - the payments were much lower, ranging from A$1,500 to A$2,000.

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