Manus: Take up New Zealand’s offer, says Australian bishop

manus

The Australian Bishops’ Delegate for Migrants and Refugees says the Australian government should accept New Zealand’s offer to take detainees on Manus Island.

“It is time to find an alternative and conscionable solution, including accepting New Zealand’s offer of resettlement and bringing the remaining detainees on Manus Island to Australia,” said Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen.

A number of Catholic agencies in Australia have also voiced concern in a joint statement.

They are urging all Australians to express their concern for the circumstances of the men on Manus Island by contacting their local federal MP to demand an immediate change “to this expensive, unworkable and unprincipled policy.”

The Statement makes the following points:

  • The men on Manus Island have the right to food, water and shelter; to freedom and liberty; to be free from inhumane and degrading treatment, and to seek and receive protection.
  • The Australian Government is legally and morally responsible for the lives of these men who have been arbitrarily and indefinitely held in limbo for more than four years.
  • The only humane resolution to the current impasse is for the Australian Government to bring every refugee and person seeking asylum on Manus Island to Australia where they can be permanently resettled or have their claims processed in safety and with dignity.
  • Offshore processing for the purposes of deterrence, whether in PNG, Nauru or anywhere else, is inhumane and unsustainable, and must cease to be a part of any Australian policy.

The Catholic agencies that signed the statement are:

Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA), Catholic Social Services Australia, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia, and Jesuit Social Services (JSS).

Source

News category: Asia Pacific.

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