Monday, 12 December 2016
Media release

Australia and Vietnam further cooperation to stamp out people smuggling

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security will provide a formal framework for the return of Vietnamese nationals with no legal right to enter or remain in Australia, including those intercepted at sea.

The arrangement, which is consistent with both countries' domestic and international legal obligations, was signed by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and Vietnam's Minister of Public Security Colonel General To Lam, in Canberra today.

Mr Dutton said this is a significant milestone in Australia's bilateral relationship with Vietnam and an important part of our broader efforts to counter irregular migration in the region. 

"The Coalition Government is committed to protecting our borders, stamping out people smuggling and preventing people risking their lives at sea," Mr Dutton said.

Since 2015, the Australian and Vietnamese Governments have worked together to return 113 Vietnamese nationals from three vessels intercepted by the Australian Border Force under Operation Sovereign Borders.

"Australia's borders are stronger than ever and our tough border protection policies are here to stay," Mr Dutton said.

Australia and Vietnam look forward to further deepening the bilateral immigration and border protection relationship, which is underpinned by our shared interests in facilitating regular trade and migration in the region. Cooperation currently includes regular dialogue, training and capacity building initiatives.