INTRODUCTION: Australia's Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Ian McPhee, has said that his country will continue to play an important part in re-settling refugees from Thailand.
GV & CU Entrance to Panasnikom camp and sign (2 shots)
GV TRACKING SHOT Huts in camp
GV Groups of refugees waiting outside identity centre in camp (2 shots)
CU Sign "UNHCR" Transit Centre Office & PAN DOWN TO people at window
GV & CU Children and adults outside medical centre and sign: "Substitution of persons at medical will mean rejection from resettlement in U.S."
GV Refugees queueing outside Australia centre
GV & SVs INTERIOR Women and children in Australia centre (2 shots)
CU EXTERIOR Refugee sitting on ground PULL OUT TO GV group of refugees waiting for bus
SVs & GVs People waiting to board buses, mainly women and children (2 shots)
GV People loading luggage onto buses (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Australia's Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Ian McPhee, has said that his country will continue to play an important part in re-settling refugees from Thailand. Speaking before a visit to one of the country's biggest refugee camps at Panasnikom, Mr. McPhee said special attention was being paid to re-uniting families.
SYNOPSIS: The Panasnikom complex has processed some 50,000 refugees since it opened in July last year.
The camp is run by the Thai Supreme Command, and houses refugees from Kampuchea, Vietnam and Laos. How long they're confined to camp depends on how easily their backgrounds can be traced. Many fled from their countries, leaving their papers and belongings behind. Once an refugee's identity is established, re-settlement procedures can then start.
Important medical checks are carried out as well, and refugees are warned immigration rules.
An average of 400 refugees leave the centre each day for resettlement in another country. Most go to America or Australia, but Canada, France and New Zealand are also helping to give them homes.
The Australian authorities have been particularly eager to help Thailand with the refugee problem. In the last five years, more than 13,000 have been re-settled in Australia. Ministerial trips to camps like Panasnikom are now commonplace.
The news that a special effort is under way to reunite families was welcomed by Thailand. It means refugees can spend more time beginning their new lives.