UN agency concerned about asylum seekers on Manus Island

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UNHCR in Papua New Guinea

Australian authorities have been urged to investigate recent incidents that reportedly led to the death of an asylum-seeker on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

The call has come from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) which says it's concerned about what's happening on the island where Australia has a processing centre for refugees and asylum seekers.

Thousands of refugees who have fled conflict or other hardships in the Middle East and Central and South Asia have been sent to the centre.

Babar Baloch is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

"We are in discussions with the Australian government and welcome their commitment to investigate these events. Based on the three visits to Manus Island, the latest happening in November 2013, we have constantly raised issues around the transfer arrangements and on the absence of adequate protection standards and safeguards for asylum seekers and refugees in Papua New Guinea." (26")

Babar Baloch said there are significant shortcomings in the legal framework for receiving and processing asylum seekers from Australia.

He said these shortcomings include lack of capacity and expertise in processing asylum seekers adding that there are poor physical conditions on Manus Island.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration:  1’29″

 

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