Australia will end offshore treatment on Papua New Guinea By the end of the year, making Nauru the only regional processing center.
Papua New Guinea has been seeking to end its involvement in outsourcing for years. The Australian-run detention center on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea illegal and the Papua New Guinea High Court ordered its closure in 2016 and Australia was forced to pay $70 million in compensation For those illegally detained.
However, 124 asylum seekers and refugees are still detained in Papua New Guinea, mainly in Port Moresby. Eighty-eight of these men have formally recognized their claims to protection.
Those still held in Papua New Guinea will be allowed to move to Nauru if they so choose, according to the joint statement From Australia’s Home Secretary Karen Andrews and Papua New Guinea’s Immigration Minister Westley Nkundi.
Those who remain in Papua New Guinea will be offered “a permanent migration path … including citizenship, long-term support, settlement packages, and family reunification.”
Refugees awaiting resettlement in America under Australia’s refugee exchange arrangements with the United States will continue to be supported while they wait to depart.
The Papua New Guinea government will take “full management of the regional processing services… and full responsibility for those who remain”.
“Australia’s robust border protection policies – including territorial processing – remain unchanged. Anyone attempting to enter Australia illegally by boat will be turned back or sent back to Australia. Naurustated in the agreement.
“Australia and Papua New Guinea are longstanding partners and regional leaders in the fight against people smuggling by sea and we look forward to continuing this close cooperation in the future after the regional resettlement arrangement is finalised.”
Behrouz Bojani, an Iranian journalist and refugee who has been held by Australia in Papua New Guinea for more than seven years, said Australia has repeatedly abandoned refugees ostensibly under its protection in Papua New Guinea.
“The process of moving refugees to America has been very slow and this proves that Australia has failed to resettle refugees in that country, and they should hold them accountable for this failure,” he told the Guardian.
He said that with Australia relinquishing responsibility for those it detained in Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea government should look for other resettlement opportunities. New Zealand, where Boochani now lives, has a long-term offer to resettle 150 refugees annually from the Australian naval system, an offer that Australia has consistently rejected.
“Papua New Guinea is not capable of resettling refugees and this has been proven over the past years. What we must support is that Papua New Guinea starts negotiations with New Zealand directly. Australia has no right to block these negotiations.”
Since 2012, all asylum seekers who arrived by boat in Australia have been sent to offshore processing centers to determine their protection claims, and held there indefinitely. These have been currently abroad for more than seven years, and no one has been sent abroad since 2014.
Asylum seekers who arrive by plane – a much larger number – are not processed abroad.
In September, the federal government Signed a new agreement with Nauru, to continue a “permanent form” of offshore processing in the Pacific Island nation.
Australia’s offshore treatment policies and practices have been constantly criticized by the United Nations, human rights groups, and refugees themselves.
The United Nations Australian system Violates the Convention against Torture The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said that indefinite detention abroad was “Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatmentand illegal under international law.
at most 12 people were killed in the camps, including existence The guards killed them, via medical negligence and by suicide. Psychiatrists sent to work in the camps described the conditions as “toxic by natureHe likened it to torture.
The Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea has been plagued by controversy and violence.
Iranian Reza Paraty was killed by the guardsMore than 70 asylum seekers were injured, including shot and stabbed, during attacks on the center in 2014.
A forensic doctor has been found in Queensland A ‘systemic failure’ within the Australian healthcare system Inside the Manos prison camp led to the “preventable” death of Hamid Kahazaei from an easily treatable infection.
Madeline Gleeson, a senior researcher at the University of New South Wales’ Kaldor Center for International Refugee Law, said the end of outpatient treatment in Papua New Guinea was “inevitable but long overdue” given that no one had been relocated there in seven years.
She said the processing system had been plagued by ongoing problems, including “riots, protests, legal challenges and forcing Australia to close the detention centre”.
“Australia has the precedent of withdrawing from Papua New Guinea before making sure that the appropriate arrangements are in place to support the people who are still there. We have seen this happen on Manus Island, when Australia set its deadline for withdrawal and left before sufficient accommodation and other services were available. So, while That the apparent announcement of the end of the external treatment is positive, the devil will be in the details.”
He said the Australian government should keep open the option to send anyone back to Australia. Nauru and Papua New Guinea were not suitable countries for settlement.
Nick McKim, a Greens senator, said the Australian government could not only “wash its hands” of those it had expelled to Papua New Guinea.
“People who have sought asylum in Australia remain Australia’s responsibility under international law, and no amount of bureaucratic maneuvering can change this fact.”
He said offshore detention was a “humanitarian catastrophe on every level”, costing Australia tens of billions of dollars.
“While detention abroad will end in Papua New Guinea, perhaps its most shameful legacy will be the adoption of the same brutal policies and rhetoric in many other countries around the world.”