1 May 2002

UNHCR appeals for resettlement of refugees detained on Nauru

6:26 am on 1 May 2002

The UNHCR says it needs to find resettlement countries for the mainly Iraqi refugees who are being kept in Australian-funded detention centres in Nauru.

More than 120 Iraqis taken to Nauru by Australia are awating placement and New Zealand has said it will help settle some of the former boatpeople.

An agreement between Australia and Nauru to allow for the processing of the applications on the island expires in two weeks.

Marissa Bandarangshi of the UNHCR says it is not involved in negotiations to extend the deal.

"and what's a matter of great urgency for us at the moment is to find resettlement places for those people who have been found to be refugees. It's of great concern to us because these people while they're on Nauru are in a de-facto detention situation despite the fact they've been determined to be refugees."

Marissa Bandarangshi