The National, Wednesday July 17th, 2013
REFUGEE processing at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre (RPC) for asylum seekers begins this week, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato says.
Pato said Papua New Guinea had moved quickly, in cooperation with the Australian government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), to establish refugee status declaration under PNG law, and to train officers to make assessments in accordance with those laws and international human rights principles.
“PNG immigration officers who recently undertook training in Sydney, Australia and Port Moresby will commence refugee status assessments on Manus with Australian immigration officers as mentors during the initial phase,” Pato said.
“In terms of those who do not qualify for refugee status, there will be an opportunity for a review by an independent review panel.
“The grant or refusal of refugee status by me will be based on assessment and review recommendations. Those who do not qualify for refugee status will be sent home or to a safer country.”