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Claims Middle Eastern refugees were cherry picked

There are an estimated 100,000 Syrian refugee children that are not being schooled in this area of the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. That's the official figure from the UN but those on the ground say it's probably higher.
There are an estimated 100,000 Syrian refugee children that are not being schooled in this area of the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. That's the official figure from the UN but those on the ground say it's probably higher. Kim Edwards

The Refugee Council has accused Federal Government immigration officials of cherry-picking Middle Eastern refugees to be resettled in Australia.

The council's chief, Paul Power, told ABC TV it appeared the government's program to resettle 12,000 Syrians was geared more towards Iraqi Christians.

He expressed concerned the government was prioritising Christian arrivals over equally persecuted Muslims seeking refuge from the Syrian conflict.

"There are millions of refugees in the Middle East in need of resettlement and for Australia to cherry pick people from perhaps 1-3% of the refugee population in countries such as Jordan and Lebanon really doesn't reflect at all well on Australia," he told the 7.30 program.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told the ABC he had received "no complaints" about the resettlement program.

Topics:  immigration refugees


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