New law to help process refugees

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 1st May 2013

 A NEW legislation will allow the processing of refugees at the Manus island regional processing centre, Immigration Minister Rimbink  Pato says.

The new regulation, under the Migration Act, provides guidelines for PNG immigration officers to use in determining the refugee status of asylum seekers at the centre.

“These guidelines are consistent with PNG’s commitments under the 1951 Refugees Convention,” Pato said.

“In hosting the regional processing centre, PNG is taking a leading role in regional efforts to prevent the scourge of people smuggling.

“The regional processing centre provides protection and shelter for asylum seekers while denying people smugglers the outcomes that they promise to their clients.

“This discourages other vulnerable people from undertaking dangerous journeys by sea.”

Pato said work could now start which should provide them more certainty and stability. 

“We have already started initial screening interviews to gather information that will be used in the refugee status determination process,” he said.