Asylum seekers and refugees

Letters

I THANK both the Australian and PNG governments for providing employment to the local Papua new Guineans.
Thank you so much in that however, now that the current Marape Government and Belden Namah are saying that it is illegal if
I can be corrected on that then
my point is focussed more on the contracted locals day to day engagement with asylum seekers and refugees from 2015 -2017 which I strongly think requires some form of compensation as recognition to the kind of job they have done.
Much or mostly all the headlines and articles publish in the newspaper and other forms of media is concern only about the asylum seekers and the refugees’ welfare and settlement.
Nothing is mentioned on the local contractors contracted under PNG Immigration Citizenship and Services Authority (PNGICSA) and even the PNGICSA officers themselves too on their risks, welfare; the kind of treatment in terms of assaults, harassment, cunning or swearing received from the asylum seekers/refugees; and the kind of mental or psychological effects like stress, trauma, high blood pressure and fatigue received day to day when engaged with refugees however the local contractors engaged in education, case working and JDA for employment are loyal to their duty despite all the effects received.
Only a doctor can weigh the effects out and tell them, “How long those night mares and strange behaviours and attitude adopted while working in Manus would last or be solved after completing their mission”.
Some will be short term effects while some will be long term effects.
Some local contractors did not complete their contractual terms but got terminated on the way not because of their wrong doings in for example, swearing or assaulting refugees but because of the stress or other effects gained from working (three full months and only a week’s break) with refugees caused them to do something they have never done before.
It’s really worse than bad and only their family members or close friends can testify.
It is also unfair and I would say a blind eye to the locals when the locals and expat contractors are both dealing with the same group of clients and expats get a three weeks on and three weeks off or six weeks on and three weeks off with risk allowance provided while the locals aren’t.
Locals take three months on and a week off as I learnt.
Does this show that the refugees are a threat to the expats and not us? Or does that show that this refugees belonged to a newly discovered clansman of PNG so locals are given more time with them?
The answer is NO.
These refuges come from different parts of the world with different cultures, attitudes and background which some of them might be good and mostly bad.
For those who have worked with or talked with or employed them can talk about the level of headaches and stresses it takes when dealing with them but the locals heroically and humbly played their roles well therefore; I strongly think and ask the two governments of Australia and PNG to sit down before Oct 31 and come up with some form of compensation to the hardworking loyal local contractors as a form of recognition to implementing first PNG Refugee Policy.
If the former government can recognise athletes for winning gold medal then why this can’t be done similarly?
We also have a local human rights lawyer fighting for the rights of the welfare of the asylum seekers/refugees from around the world under UN policies which is good for he is showing what he can do but what about other human rights law firms and welfare advocacy organisation in PNG?
Can some or one of you stand up to represent your local people like what Ben Lomai is doing?
Or should we stay silent to show that; only Lomai can deal with such issues and that our local contractors or it can be ourselves working in any government or private organisations welfare and risk must not to be considered vital?
Or should we show the world that PNG has policies to govern and safeguard only asylum seekers/refugees on their risks and welfare but do not have anything for our own people?
This is a challenge for all of us which I am appealing to the government to consider.

Francis Saliau

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