Government defends paying refugees to return
PAYING asylum seekers who return home voluntarily has been standard practice for more than 10 years, the Federal Government says, amid reports some are being offered as much as $10,000 to return to their country of origin.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's office will not confirm individual dollar figures, saying they are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Fairfax Media is reporting Lebanese asylum seekers have been given $10,000 to leave Australia's offshore processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru and return home.
The reports say "return packages" for Iranians amount to $7,000, while Afghans are offered $4,000.
A total of 283 asylum seekers have voluntarily returned to their home countries since Operation Sovereign Borders commenced last September, a spokesperson for Mr Morrison said.
Read more at ABC News Online.