8 Mar 2013

UN urges no discrimination against asylum seekers

11:58 am on 8 March 2013

A United Nations committee is urging the New Zealand Government to ensure the Immigration Amendment Bill does not discriminate against asylum seekers.

The legislation, which is awaiting its second reading in Parliament, allows for mandatory detention of illegal migrants for up to six months under a group warrant.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it's worried the bill may deprive people in need of international protection of their liberty, solely based on the manner of their arrival.

The committee is also asking the Government to refrain from sending asylum seekers to Australian detention centres, following New Zealand's recent agreement to take 150 refugees a year from Australia.