11 Feb 2009

Talks on refugees and asylum seekers held in Solomon Islands

8:04 am on 11 February 2009

Solomon Islands is holding discussions about the country's future dealing with refugees and asylum seekers.

The UNHCR and the Solomon Islands government are holding a seminar on the issue, as the country has no laws governing refugees.

The UNHCR regional representative, Richard Towle, says it's important that Pacific countries know how to deal with these people.

"There's no large numbers coming in, but we have to remember that the resources of the small island states is a fraction of what's available in New Zealand. One or five cases in the Solomons is equivalent to a much larger number in NZ. It's very important to have a good legal framework and the capacity to deal with these cases when they come up."

Richard Towle says while refugees from other countries will be on top of the agenda, they'll also look at problems with internally displaced people.