UNHCR: Asylum seekers facing harsh conditions at Pacific Island asylum centres

Listen /

Boat carrying Sri Lankan asylum seekers arriving in Australia:UNHCR

Asylum-seekers transferred from Australia to processing centres at Nauru and in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are living in conditions that do not meet international standards of treatment, according to the United Nations Refugee agency (UNHCR).

In a report assessing Australia's asylum policies and practices, UNHCR says the asylum seekers were living in conditions which may constitute mandatory detention with no access to a fair and efficient system for assessing refugee claims.

While appreciating Australia's determination to respond robustly to the challenges of people smuggling and to dissuade people from undertaking dangerous irregular travel by sea, UNHCR says the responses must not neglect the compelling protection needs, safety and dignity of the individuals affected.

Adrian Edwards is UNHCR Spokesperson in Geneva.

"In both Nauru and PNG the current policies, operational approaches and harsh physical conditions do not meet international standards – they also have a profound impact on the men, women and children housed there.We are concerned that as such they constitute mandatory detention which is not compatible with international law. We are also worried that they do not provide a fair and efficient system for assessing refugee claims.They do not provide safe and humane refugee conditions of treatment in detention, and do not provide for adequate and timely solutions for recognized refugees. At both centres, we have concerns about the psycho-social well-being of vulnerable people who in many cases can include survivors of torture and trauma and unaccompanied children."

UNHCR says children , particularly those who are unaccompanied, should not be transferred to the asylum centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea unless and until there has been a marked improvement in conditions in both centres.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1:57″

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
Loading the player ...

CONNECT

  1. Migrant deaths increase globally in 2014
  2. Normalization of US-Cuba relations "heartily" welcomed by UN Chief
  3. Disaster-related deaths in Asia-Pacific rise three-fold in past decade
  4. Young working migrants resented in industrialized countries
  5. UN chief to visit Guinea and Liberia
  1. Daily News 18 December 2014
  2. "Different approach" needed to support Syrians
  3. Disaster-related deaths in Asia-Pacific rise three-fold in past decade
  4. Young working migrants resented in industrialized countries
  5. Afghan women and children casualties rise in 2013
  6. This is a pivotal moment for Afghanistan, says UN Chief
  7. Return to "normal development agenda" in Afghanistan
  8. Afghan election "opportunity" to engage internationally
  9. Suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan condemned by UN
  10. UN envoy highlights international support to Afghanistan
  11. Senior UN officials condemn attack on journalists in Afghanistan
  12. Afghans urged to show patience and respect for electoral institutions and processes during polls: Ban
  13. UN human rights chief calls for action to end violence against women in Afghanistan
  14. "Significant progress" made in Afghanistan
  15. Envoy affirms UN support for women's participation in Afghanistan elections
  16. Attention needed on sustainable livelihoods in Afghanistan: UN envoy
  17. Afghanistan elections "true historic moment", says UN top envoy
  18. "Abhorrent" Afghanistan suicide bomb attack condemned by UN
  19. Security Council condemns deadly attack in Afghanistan
  20. UN envoy urges Afghans to vote in run-off poll
  21. Afghanistan reports progress and challenges in stamping out violence against women
  22. UN pays respect to four UN staff members killed in Afghanistan
  23. The 2014 elections are at the forefront of political life in Afghanistan: UN envoy
  24. Over 6,000 people flee from Pakistan to Afghanistan

 

December 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031