Another seven asylum seekers decide to return home

ANOTHER group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers has decided to return home rather than have their claims processed in offshore detention centres.

The group of seven men brought to 942 the number of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have returned home since August 13 - 729 involuntarily and 213 voluntarily - when the Federal Government announced it was reopening offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island.

A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said the seven men travelled to Colombo from Perth following their transfer from mainland detention sites.

"These men departed voluntarily," the spokesman said.

"They chose not to pursue their asylum claims and no longer seek to engage Australia's protection obligations.

"This is further proof that there is no advantage engaging with people smugglers."

The spokesman said that while further transfers to Nauru would occur in the coming weeks, it was also expected more people would choose to return to their home country voluntarily.

People in a regional processing centre or immigration detention facility can request their removal from Australia at any time.


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