U.N. Urges Australia to Take Responsibility For Refugees

World | February 13, 2018, Tuesday // 16:35| Views: | Comments: 0
  • Send to Kindle
Bulgaria: U.N. Urges Australia to Take Responsibility For Refugees Източник: pixabay

The United Nations called on Australia on Tuesday to take responsibility for around 800 refugees and asylum seekers stranded in a detention center on Papua New Guinea where it said many lack medical and mental health care, according to Reuters. 

The refugees - many from Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar - were removed from a holding camp in the remote Papua New Guinea island of Manus in November when Australia decided to close it.

Australia’s government - whose policy of holding asylum-seekers in offshore camps has bipartisan political support - has said the center that the group was moved to on the island was adequate and that the Papua New Guinea government was responsible for running it.

But Rico Salcedo, UNHCR regional protection officer, told journalists on Tuesday that the Canberra government had a duty under international law to take responsibility for the 800 who had been seeking sanctuary in Australia.

“What stood out the most from this mission ... was a pervasive and worsening sense of despair among refugees and asylum seekers,” he said by video link from Canberra after returning from a trip to Manus Island.

Australia remains ultimately responsible as the state from whom refugees and asylum seekers have sought international protection for their welfare and long-term settlement outside of Papua New Guinea,” he added.

There was no immediate response from Canberra to the UNHCR comments on Tuesday.

Salcedo said that while services were still predominantly implemented by Australian-contracted providers, the Canberra government was no longer coordinating the operation there, leaving refugees and asylum seekers confused as to how they can obtain services.

At least 500 of the 800 remaining on Papua New Guinea await solutions or resettlement in third countries, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says.

Under the Obama administration, the United States agreed to take up to 1,250 refugees, but transfers have been slow under Trump.

World » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Afghanistan, Pakistan, refugees, U.N., Australia, asylum seekers
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Please, log in to post a comment.
» To the forumComments (0)
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria