Australia to send unaccompanied Vietnamese children back home

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Australian authorities will send 44 unaccompanied Vietnamese children who arrived in Australia on boat back home, The Australian newspaper reported Saturday.

A group of 49 Vietnamese citizens held at the Port Augusta community immigration facility in South Australia have been told they have no right to stay on.

The group includes 44 unaccompanied minors, and among them is a six-year-old who a source said could be in the company of an older sibling.

Australia's Immigration Department stated none of the 44 boat children had made protection claims.

A department spokesman said talks with Vietnamese authorities about organizing the group's return were underway.

"None of these clients raised any claims for protection and the majority stated they came to Australia to work or study," the spokesman said.

"Immediate post-return assistance is available for all clients, including minors, who are being returned."

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