The Fate of Asylum Seekers on Manus Island

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Image: In this handout photo provided by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, are seen at the Manus Island Regional Processing Facility, used for the detention of asylum seekers who arrive by boat, primarily to Christmas Island off the Australian mainland, on Oct. 16, 2012, on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea

 

By Daphne Rasehei – EM TV Online

The resettlement of refugees from Australia to Papua New Guinea has been an ongoing battle of pros and cons since the Australian immigration detention facility was opened on Manus Island during mid-2013.

In an article by Stephanie Anderson, dated October 31, 2015, the Human Rights Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs, criticised moves to resettle refugees on Papua New Guinea, describing the country as struggling.

Professor Triggs had aired her concerns over the economic capabilities of PNG, asserting the struggles that the people of Papua New Guinea face and the unveiling of PNG’s budget in early November, which economist and former PNG treasury official Paul Flanagan said would be “very, very tough”.

Flanagan told Pacific Beat that falling commodity prices, drought and pressures such as exchange rate controls had reduced revenue predictions.

Prior to Triggs’ criticising concerns, Australian Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, made an announcement on October 23 saying he would meet with the PNG government to examine the details of:

–          PNG to begin refugee resettlement, welcomed by both the Australian government and opposition

–          Not a single refugee outcome processed by PNG government since 2012

–          The centre cost Australia $151 million between July-September

As such is ongoing, Dutton said that the federal government remained dedicated to providing ongoing support for PNG as part of the ‘’strong working relationship’’ between the two countries. 

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