Responding to reports that Australian and Papua New Guinean officials have agreed to shut down the Manus Island detention centre, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said:
“Any agreement to close the Manus Island centre must be acted on urgently.
“Oxfam is also calling on the Australian Government to shut down its offshore detention centre on the Pacific island of Nauru.
“The people detained on Manus and Nauru should have their claims processed quickly and be offered permanent resettlement in Australia if they are successful.”
Dr Szoke said the PNG Supreme Court ruled in April that the Manus Island detention centre was unconstitutional and illegal and ordered that the facility be shut down.
“Offshore detention comes at a great cost to all and is causing immeasurable harm,” Dr Szoke said.
“Australia has the capacity to accept more vulnerable people seeking protection.
“Australia must take responsibility for people who are seeking a safe haven from conflict, human rights violations and persecution.”
For interviews or more information, please contact Amanda Banks on 0411 449 653 or firstname.lastname@example.org