21 Nov 2012

Australia sends four children to PNG asylum seeker camp

4:14 pm on 21 November 2012

The Australian Government has confirmed that four children are among the first asylum seekers sent to Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the first 19 people sent to Manus consisted of seven families of Sri Lankan and Iranian origin.

They arrived this morning from Christmas Island, accompanied by Australian Federal Police, immigration staff, interpreters, children's services and medical staff.

Mr Bowen has told media that the first transfer to Manus Island will be one of many.

He has indicated Australia is sending a message that people arriving by boat risk being sent to detention camps well away from mainland Australia.

More than 400 men have been sent to Nauru in the past two months under the new scheme.