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Bishop calls for cooperation between nations on asylum seekers

Chairman of the Australian Bishops' Committee for Migrants and Refugees, Bishop Patrick Dougherty, has blamed the drowning of nearly 400 refugees near Indonesia on "unscrupulous people smugglers", but emphasised that the solution lies in cooperation between nations.

He told The Catholic Leader that the case is "frightful and disturbing".

"Their desperation is one factor," he said. "Another is that they are not prevented from setting out."

"Their recourse to unscrupulous people smugglers can be avoided only when there is cooperation between nations.

"They must have hope that wherever they may be they will be granted welcoming placement somewhere. Many nations have to look out for their welfare."

Catholic Leader