15 Dec 2005

Australia and PNG to sign deal on removing illegal immigrants

2:21 pm on 15 December 2005

Australia will assist Papua New Guinea with funding to remove illegal immigrants under an agreement to be signed tomorrow.

Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu has said in a statement this would be made effective by the signing of a tripartite agreement between PNG, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Australia relating to the voluntary removal of illegal immigrants.

The National newspaper reports the signing will be held at the PNG/Australia Ministerial Forum in Australia tomorrow.

The agreement calls for PNG to identify the irregular immigrants and the IOM will be responsible for assisting the people to return voluntarily to their country of origin.

Sir Rabbie says the IOM will arrange for temporary accommodation for people awaiting repatriation, provide for their welfare needs, and assist with identity verification and, help with obtaining valid travel documents.

Sir Rabbie said Australia would provide financial assistance for this purpose.