27 Jul 2013

UNHCR troubled by Australia/PNG deal

8:32 am on 27 July 2013

The UNHCR says it is troubled by the absence of adequate protection standards and safeguards for asylum seekers and refugees in Papua New Guinea.

It says Australia's new deal with PNG raises serious, and so far unanswered, protection questions.

The agency says its assessment, based on recent visits to PNG, is that there are currently significant shortcomings in the legal framework for receiving and processing asylum-seekers from Australia.

These include a lack of national capacity and expertise in processing, and poor physical conditions within open-ended, mandatory and arbitrary detention settings.