Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer say his country will give refugee status to 200 Lao ethnic Hmong refugees currently living along the road leading to Ban Huay Nam Khao in Thailand's Phetchaboun Province.
His comments came during a recent brief visit to Thailand. But he said whether or not Australia will accept more refugees remains to be seen.
The Australian government has also pledged to accept some of the 153 Hmong refugees being detained in Thailand's Nongkhai Province. Thai police tried to return them to Laos earlier but had to stop the scheduled repatriation because of international interventions. The United States, Canada, and the Netherlands have also offerred to take some of those refugees.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.