Panel discussion organised for refugees to raise concerns


A panel discussion organised by the Catholic Bishops Conference was held in Port Moresby on Wednesday for refugees to raise their concerns.
The panel discussion was attended by church representatives, media personnel from across the country, students, and refugees.
The theme of the panel discussion was ‘Listening across borders’.
Participant Sam Kaipu, who summarised the highlights of the speakers, said it was evident that refugees lived in fear for their lives, and have lost their rights and freedom.
“They have left their countries at great risk to themselves and their loved ones,” Kaipu said.
“They are in search of a better and safer life.
“All the five speakers are young men who have been in PNG for five or six years.
“Despite being from different countries – a Pakistani, a West Papuan, a West African, a Sudanese and a Central African – their stories had a very important decision.
“Either risk long imprisonment or even death, or abandon their beloved country, family and friends in order to find safety and freedom in another country.
“It was not simply a better life they were looking for, but their very existence as human beings deserving of respect and enjoyment of their rights and freedoms.
“As young men they had made traumatic decisions to abandon their families and friends and countries and lands. The suspense of waiting for their cases to be determined for settlement in another country has aggravated their trauma.”