Australia closes its refugee detention center in Papua New Guinea
An Australian immigration detention center in northern Manus Island will be closed as the Supreme Court ruled that detaining asylum seekers and refugees is illegal.
The Manus Regional Processing Centre is an immigration detention and offshore asylum centre located on Los Negros Island in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, which is operated and maintained by Broadspectrum on behalf of the Australian government. This centre was first established in 2001 under an agreement between the Australian government and Papua New Guinean Government. This is one of the two processing centres (OPC) and the other is the Nauru detention centre. This Manus centre was closed in 2008 and was later reopened in 2012.
There are about 850 men from other countries currently living at the camp on Manus Island. Recently, half of the men have been included as valid refugees at the camp. These assessed refugees are able to leave the camp during the day and the rest whose claims are denied are unable to exit the camp.
The men had made entrance to Australia by boat and were taken to Manus Island under Australia’s offshore processing policy which was mainly created to discourage the asylum seekers not to use smugglers to make the trip to Australia. Under this policy, the refugees who are assessed will not be able to resettle in Australia but are given an option to settle in Papua New Guinea. Following the Supreme Court announcement, Australia was asked to make alternative arrangements for the asylum seekers and refugees. Many of the refugees have harmed themselves at the camp. Recently a 21 year-old woman from Somalia set herself on fire on Nauru Island.