UNCT on Asylum Seekers

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in PNG is strongly urging the Papua New Guinea and Australian government to restore basic services to the asylum centre, including food, water, electricity and security, until an effective solution is found.

This comes after reports of the withdrawal of all essential services has been carried out at the Regional Processing Centre (on Manus Island) on the 1st of November 2017.

The closure of RPC has resulted in more than 600 refugees, asylum seekers, and other related categories of persons, under the responsibility of the PNG and Australian Government, left without food, water, electricity and security, which are essential elements of their rights to an adequate standard of living, inherent dignity and right to life.

This is a very serious situation requiring urgent attention of both the Government of PNG and Government of Australia.

The UNCT say the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia need to be reminded of their obligations under International Human Rights and Refugee Laws, which must be upheld in the implementation of plans to close the RPC.

The UNCT is concerned about reports that the proposed new places for the relocation do not have sufficient capacity and are not adequately equipped to accommodate all the existing residents of the RPC.

And while persons remain at the Centre, the discontinuation of all basic services puts this vulnerable group at serious risk of violation of their right to life. It also has serious implications on their physical and mental health.

They are urging both governments to communicate clearly to the refugees and related categories of person residing at the Centre, and the public, on the roadmap.

Press Release