Catholic Religious Australia deplores the present situation on Manus Island and calls on the Australian Government to take responsibility for these men. Their current plight is the result of Australian Government policy and responsibility cannot be handed over to Papua New Guinea. We have an on-going obligation to find appropriate solutions for all of the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.
Both the Governor of Manus Island and the Chief of Police have raised concerns about their ability to keep the men safe. UNHCR has, in recent days, reported that not all the accommodation buildings are complete.
The Australian Government must, immediately, ensure that the men are housed in safety and in accommodation which is completed and fit for habitation.
The trauma of the men on Manus Island has been compounded by four years of fear, insecurity, violence and suffering as the result of Australian Government policy - allowing the situation to continue is inhuman and immoral. Settlement in Papua New Guinea is not a viable option and, as the Kaldor Centre noted, the men “are likely to face insurmountable obstacles to self-sufficiency.”
CRA calls on the Australian Government to bring the men to Australia and support them to become productive and contributing citizens of Australia in the manner of so many refugees before them.