By Tokana Hasavi Jr – EM TV World News
A plan to resettle refugees in Papua New Guinea has been condemned by Human Rights Commission President, Gillian Triggs.
Triggs says PNG lacks the capacity and basic infrastructure to meet the needs of asylum seekers.
The PNG Government through its National Refugee Policy, endorsed two weeks ago, plans to resettle refugees on Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island.
“Seventy per cent of the women there allege rape or sexual assault in their lifetime,” she told ABC. “Infant mortality is poor, the mortality of the mothers is poor. Health care generally, access to clean water, is very limited. Access in particular to the courts or police services is very limited.
Her criticism comes two weeks after the National Executive Council endorsed plans for refugee settlement in PNG, three years after reopening the Manus Processing and Detention Centre.
Professor Triggs was concerned about the resettlement of gay refugees in PNG, where homosexuality is illegal – punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
She also said the country was facing pressure to provide services to its own people.
A statement shared by the public.
Two weeks ago, Immigration Minister, Rimbink Pato, in a two page press release, explained the National Refugee Policy for PNG, which also extends to refugees from Indonesia Papua Province of West Papua.
It contained five key principles that form the basis of the policy.
The highlight being point number four that says PNG embraces the skills and qualities of refugees, supports them to become self-sufficient and offers them the opportunity to become citizens.
Despite the approval of the policy, both the PNG and Australian governments haven’t actually outlined where and how many refugees would be resettled in PNG.
The question of what type of support they would receive also remains unanswered.
But, Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs, says access to basic health services in PNG was lacking and the high rates of violence would endanger asylum seekers.