19 July 2013
Australia sends asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea in attempt to curb influx
Australia and Papua New Guinea have signed an agreement that allows Australia to send all asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat to a refugee processing centre in its developing neighbour Papua New Guinea.
The policy was immediately condemned by refugee and human rights advocates as disregarding legal and moral obligations towards asylum seekers, the New York Times reports. The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, while admitting the move was ‘very hard line’, insisted it met Australia’s obligations under the UN Refugee Convention. Under the arrangement, those who are found to be genuine refugees would be resettled in Papua New Guinea or in another state, while forfeiting any right to asylum in Australia.