UN call to transfer Manus refugees
AUSTRALIA should transfer 600 asylum seekers stranded on Manus Island to the mainland, the United Nations Human Rights Commission says.
The detention centre in Papua New Guinea closed last Tuesday but hundreds of refugees have stayed at the closed centre because they fear they will be attacked by locals.
UNHCR spokesman Rupert Colville told media in Geneva the situation is an “unfolding humanitarian emergency”, with food and water having run out.
“We repeat our overall concerns about Australian offshore processing centres which are unsustainable, inhumane and contradictory to its human rights obligations,” he said.
Mr Colville urged Canberra to transfer the men to the mainland for processing. But the Immigration Department insists those barricading themselves in the old detention centre have access to food, drinking water and health services at the alternative accommodation facilities.
“We appeal to PNG-determined refugees and failed asylum seekers to move to these locations and to access the services and supports that the PNG government has provided,” a spokesman said in a statement yesterday.