Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Australia ordered to resettle refugees

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court has ordered the Australia government to come up with a plan to resettle refugees from its Manus Island concentration camp:

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court has ordered the Australian government to provide a resettlement plan for immigration detainees being held on Manus Island, with answers required this week.

On Tuesday, the court said a plan for resettlement of the about 900 asylum seekers being held on Manus should be offered on Thursday, after ruling in April that the Australian-government funded detention centre was illegal


The Australian government could share liability for more than $1 billion in compensation claims from people illegally detained on Manus Island, as lawyers for detainees seek more than $450 for each day detainees have been held in the centre.

The April decision left the men, more than half of whom have been found to be genuine refugees, in limbo as locals resist resettlement in PNG.

Its unclear whether Australia will even show up to court - and if they do, I suspect their "resettlement plan" will be "the refugees go back to where they were being tortured". And even if they do accept their responsibility to settle them in Australia (or are ordered to), after years of torture and abuse their victims have absolutely no reason to trust them.

New Zealand could help here, by providing people with a way out of Australia's concentration camps. And we should.