Australia Wednesday said it had begun sending boatpeople to Papua New Guinea as it admitted that its offshore refugee processing system was straining to cope with the number of recent arrivals.
File photo of an Australian Customs ship transferring Sri Lankan asylum seekers to a waiting Indonesian ferry off the island of Bintan. Australia has begun sending boatpeople to impoverished Papua New Guinea, as it admitted so many had arrived in recent weeks that not all could fit in its offshore Pacific camps.
Canberra announced in August that refugees arriving by boat would be sent to two Pacific islands and almost 400 are now held on the tiny nation of Nauru, despite Amnesty International's criticism of conditions there as "completely unacceptable".
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