Australia will send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia over the next four years under a new deal; in exchange for Australia resettling 4,000 registered refugees currently languishing in the southeast Asian nation.
Both governments announced the deal in May but were forced to fine tune it amid objections by opposition politicians in their countries and human rights groups that criticise the treatment of about 93,000 refugees now living in Malaysia.
But can this swap deal work? And if Malaysia has not signed up to the UN refugee convention, where are the guarantees?
Inside Story, with presenter Kamahl Santamaria, discusses with Roger Maynard, an author and veteran journalist, and Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division.
This episode of Inside Story aired on Monday, July 25, 2011.