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Prime Minister Turnbull rejects NZ's offer to take Manus Island asylum seekers

06 November, 2017, 01:51 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Protestors Accuse Australia of Treating Refugees 'Like Animals'

Doesn't change that what Australia has done to these men on Manus is appalling, ' Crowe said.

Urging the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea to fully respect their human rights, Colville said: "We repeat our overall concerns about Australia's offshore processing centers, which are unsustainable, inhumane and contrary to its human rights obligations".

Ms Ardern offered to accept 150 refugees from the offshore detention camps, similar to an offer made by former NZ Prime Minister John Key in 2013.

Australia will continue to manage the refugee crisis which is teetering on a humanitarian crisis on Manus Island's detention center after declining New Zealand's offer to host 150 refugees.

Meanwhile, the situation on the remote Manus island in Papua New Guinea, or PNG, is growing more serious with around 600 refugees barricading themselves inside the camp, defying efforts by Australia and PNG to shut it. Food, running water and medical services were cut off by Australia five days ago.

Australia has an obligation to do so under global human rights law and the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, he said.

"We will not have our immigration programme, our sovereignty, our borders outsourced to people smugglers", he said.


United Nations rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news conference in Geneva on Friday about the "unfolding humanitarian emergency" in the Manus island center, where asylum seekers have been reportedly digging wells to try to find water.

"At the moment hundreds of naked men are lying around me", Boochani wrote. They are Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, Afghans, Iranians, Sri Lankans and other nationalities. "They are starving and their bodies are getting weak".

For four years, Australia has paid Papua New Guinea, its nearest neighbor, and Nauru to house asylum seekers who attempt to reach the Australian coast by boat.

Ardern acknowledged the two Tasman neighbors faced different immigration problems but said the offer remained open.

New Zealand citizens are typically allowed to work and live in Australia, a pathway that Australia fears could be used by the refugees to move to Australia.

Australia has recognized that numerous asylum seekers are refugees who can not return to their homelands, but it refuses to resettle anyone who tries to reach the country by boat in a policy it credits with dissuading such risky ocean crossings. So far, about 50 refugees have been settled under the deal. "We r dying", he said on Twitter.

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