Pacific / Papua New Guinea

PNG community placement makes refugees more vulnerable - advocate

07:52 am on 20 November 2019

Papua New Guinea immigration officials have started placing refugees formerly detained on Manus Island by Australia into the community.

Asylum seekers board a bus at Granville Hotel. Photo: Shaminda Kanapathi

Since August, the refugees have been staying in hotels and motels in Port Moresby after almost all were moved off the island.

There was an attempt to move a group into the community last week but that failed, and refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said the latest effort might go the same way.

Ten men who were moved on Tuesday from Granville Hotel are now accommodation where the electricity has not been connected and where they have no access to transport, Mr Rintoul said.

The refugees have been moved to a part of Moresby known for its violence, he said.

"It's indicative of the fact that there's no preparation, there's no services. The shift into the community is only going to result in even worse conditions, and more danger and more vulnerability than they face already."

Mr Rintoul said he doubted the planned move of another 40 refugees today would go ahead, given the "fiasco" last week.