Refugees in PNG to be integrated into community

1:31 pm on 18 May 2015

129 asylum seekers at the Australian-run Manus Island processing centre in Papua New Guinea have been deemed genuine refugees, and are being offered the choice to live in PNG.

The Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, says more than 400 others have left the processing centre at Manus Island to return to their home countries.

The newspaper, The Australian, reports the Australian Customs and Border Protection said there were 971 asylum-seekers at the Manus centre at the start of May.

Mr O'Neill says his country has played a role in almost completely eradicating the dangerous people-smuggling trade, which has led to countless lives being lost at sea.

However he says he fears for refugees settling in his country, due to the negative Australian news about asylum-seekers that is broadcast in PNG.

Mr O'Neill says his government is undertaking extensive public awareness campaigns before integrating the refugees.

No caption

Photo: AAP / Dept of Immigration and Citizenship