Refugees refuse offer

National

FOREIGN Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato says most refugees based at the Manus regional processing centre have refused to be resettled in PNG.
They want a third country to accept them, he said.
Pato, who co-chaired a recent United Nations General Assembly meeting to address the huge movements of refugees and migrants, told of the constraints PNG faced in dealing with refugees and migrants.
“Papua New Guinea currently hosts 1,007 refugees and other migrants from around the world at the regional processing facility on Manus Island,” he said.
“And of these, 671 are prima facie refugees, 204 asylum seekers and 132 migrants.”
He said the Manus centre was also a demonstration of PNG’s humanitarian gesture, goodwill and recognition of its international human rights obligations.
“It also demonstrates the bilateral and regional cooperation with Australia and other partners since 2012, to address not only refugees and migrants but to combat the despicable acts of people smuggling and human trafficking for profit by criminal syndicates and others,” Pato said.
He said PNG and Australia were in the process of closing down the Manus centre following the Supreme Court ruling in April declaring the detention as unconstitutional and in breach of their personal liberties and freedom.
Pato said the refugees were allowed to move around freely.

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