29 July 2013
UNHCR: Australia has shared responsibility with PNG to ensure legal standards
The UN Refugee Agency expressed concerns over Australia’s Regional Resettlement Agreement (RRA) with Papua New Guinea in a written statement citing the absence of adequate protection standards for asylum seekers and refugees in Papua New Guinea.
According to UNHCR, Australia maintains a shared responsibility with its developing neighbour to ensure appropriate legal standards for asylum seekers, which includes access to sustainable solutions within Australia. The agency said the RRA raises serious protection questions as there are significant shortcomings in the legal framework in Papua New Guinea for receiving and processing asylum seekers. These include lacking national capacity and poor physical conditions within open-ended and arbitrary detention settings.