UN Concerned with Process Followed to Close Manus Processing Center
PRESS RELEASE: November 3, 2017
United Nations in Papua New Guinea
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Papua New Guinea is gravely concerned by the process by which the withdrawal of all essential services has been carried out at the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) on Manus Island as of 1 November 2017. We are aware of and support the statement dated 2 November 2017 which was released by UNHCR. The closure of RPC has resulted in more than 600 refugees, asylum seekers, and other related categories of persons, under the responsibility of the PNG and Australian Government, left without food, water, electricity and security which are essential elements of their rights to an adequate standard of living, inherent dignity and right to life. This is a very serious situation requiring urgent attention of both the Government of PNG and Government of Australia.
The UNCT reminds the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia of their obligations under International Human Rights and Refugee Laws which must be upheld in the implementation of plans to close the RPC. The UNCT is concerned about reports that the proposed new places for the relocation do not have sufficient capacity and are not adequately equipped to accommodate all the existing residents of the RPC.
While persons remain at the Centre, the discontinuation of all basic services puts this vulnerable group at serious risk of violation of their right to life. It also has serious implications on their physical and mental health.
The UNCT strongly urges the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia without delay to restore basic services to the Centre, including food, water, electricity and security, until an effective solution is found. We urge both governments to communicate clearly to the refugees and related categories of person residing at the Centre, and the public, on the roadmap for addressing the immediate and long-term concerns, including identifying practical solutions for resettlement.
For any further information, you may contact Kedar Poudyal
Phone: +675 321 2877