Tag Archives: Asylum seekers

22 April 2014

Indonesia calls on states to stop ‘shifting responsibility’ for asylum-seekers

In response to Australia’s policy of returning boatloads of refugees back to Indonesia, the Indonesian government called on other states to stop ‘shifting responsibility’ for asylum-seekers.  Asylum-seekers often use Indonesia as a transit state to cross over to Australia, and with the Australian policy of returning asylum-seekers before they touch Australian soil has forced Indonesia to take on the burden of these asylum seekers. During an international meeting in Jakarta regarding asylum-seekers, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, stated that the commitments made by states at a conference last year regarding asylum-seekers ‘confirmed our shared responsibility – shared responsibility, not (the) shifting of responsibility. Shared responsibility requires coordination and cooperation.’

Source: The Jakarta Post | Indonesia speaks out on boatpeople amid Australia tension

19 February 2014

One asylum seeker killed and many hurt in violence at Pacific Solution camp

During a riot in a detention camp in Papua New Guinea, one asylum seeker was killed and at least 77 were injured. Accounts as to what caused the riot differ; Australian authorities claim the violence began when detainees forced their way out of the center, but refugee advocates insist it was sparked when local residents and police stormed the facility, attacking the asylum seekers.

The facility is part of Australia’s Pacific Solution on the basis of which Australia processes and detains asylum seekers in centers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru. The asylum seekers are sent there after trying to get to Australia, often in unsafe boats and with the help of people smugglers in Indonesia. (more…)

Source: Reuters | One dead, many hurt as asylum seekers riot at PNG detention camp

29 July 2013

UNHCR: Australia has shared responsibility with PNG to ensure legal standards

The UN Refugee Agency expressed concerns over Australia’s Regional Resettlement Agreement (RRA) with Papua New Guinea in a written statement citing the absence of adequate protection standards for asylum seekers and refugees in Papua New Guinea.

According to UNHCR, Australia maintains a shared responsibility with its developing neighbour to ensure appropriate legal standards for asylum seekers, which includes access to sustainable solutions within Australia. The agency said the RRA raises serious protection questions as there are significant shortcomings in the legal framework in Papua New Guinea for receiving and processing asylum seekers. These include lacking national capacity and poor physical conditions within open-ended and arbitrary detention settings.

Source: UNHCR News & Media | UNHCR: Australia-Papua New Guinea asylum agreement presents protection challenges

22 July 2013

Australia intercepts boat with Iranian asylum seekers, violent riots in Nauru detention camp

A boat carrying 89, mainly Iranian, asylum-seekers was intercepted off the coast of northern Australia. This occurred a day after the country announced that asylum seekers arriving by boat can no longer be resettled in Australia as refugees. The Australian Immigration Minister Tony Burke stated that the group can either press an asylum claim in Papua New Guinea, or be transferred to a third state.

The announcement of the new immigration policy was reportedly followed by violent riots in an Australian-run immigration detention camp in Nauru over the weekend where hundreds of asylum seekers escaped detention.

Source: Al Jazeera | Australia intercepts boat with asylum-seekers

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.

Source: The New York Times | Australia Adopts Tough Measures to Curb Asylum Seekers
Source: AP | Australia to sent refugees to Papua New Guinea

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