United Nations urges humane approach to Manus Island crisis

14 November, 2017, 00:28 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • PNG's Supreme Court has blocked a move to restore basic services to Manus Island detention centre

Hundreds of men have refused to leave the Manus Island camp in an increasingly tense stand-off with authorities since Australia declared the facility closed on October 31 and shut off electricity and water.

The group, Peace Action Wellington, says it plans to stop workers from exiting to raise awareness of what they say is an abuse of human rights for the 600 refugees still at the decommissioned Manus Island.

"We see that we have a role to play here, we're very eager to play that role and as I say I'll be having another conversation with the Prime Minister in the Philippines".

Ms Ardern has continued to push New Zealand's offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia's offshore detention centres since her first face-to-face meeting with her Australian counterpart in Sydney a week ago.

Last week Ms Ardern offered for New Zealand to accept 150 refugee and asylum seekers now detained in a number of Australia's offshore centres. "No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done", Ardern said.

She said New Zealand has the capacity to help the refugees and should be talking with the PNG government directly to solve "this humanitarian crisis".

There are 400 refugees and asylum seekers who have barricaded themselves inside the mothballed detention centre.


"I see the human face of this issue". Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on Wednesday said "appropriate means" would be used to apprehend those responsible for "disruption". I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there'.

Ms Ardern said it was faster to organise the logistics of any deal with Australia.

As Australia had undertaken preliminary screening of the refugees and held their files, that was likely to be the swiftest way to make an arrangement.

But National's foreign affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee said it was "surprising she's made a decision to go so hard on the Australians".

"What Australia is doing is inhumane, and that is why we are here locking down the Australian high commission".

According to an Australian journalist, Ardern and Turnbull "chatted informally" early Monday morning (NZT) following her remarks, although it was unclear whether Manus had been mentioned.

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