Government announcement on offshore detention must end damaging regime

Campaigns and Advocacy, Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases, News article written on the 13 Nov 2016

Responding to the Australian Government’s announcement of a refugee resettlement deal with the United States:

Oxfam Australia’s Humanitarian Policy Advisor Dr Nicole Bieske said: “The announcement from the government today to resettle people from Nauru must bring to an end Australia’s damaging offshore processing regime.

“Oxfam is concerned that the agreement does not end the interminable limbo for all people on Manus Island and Nauru.

“Australia has an obligation to the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and must bring to Australia anyone not covered by the agreement with the United States.

“Many of these people have been in offshore detention for several years and have experienced severe psychological damage as a result of the policies of the Australian Government.

“While Oxfam welcomes the announcement that refugees from Nauru are to be resettled in the United States, the Australian government had an obligation to ensure that they were resettled in Australia and that they were supported and assisted to recover.

“Australia must fulfil its obligations under the Refugee Convention and international law to people who come to Australia in search of safety and a dignified life. The detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru must now be closed.

“People must never again be subject to indefinite detention.

“Rather than concentrating on draconian measures such as offshore processing, the Australian Government must fulfil its obligations and work constructively with governments around the world to find solutions for people seeking safety.”

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