Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Papua New Guinea: Asylum Seekers
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Papua New Guinea Government has commenced the removal of detainees from the Lombrum Regional Processing Centre for the purpose of forcibly deporting them from Papua New Guinea, and
(ii) advice from Professor Jane McAdam of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales, states:
(A) "Papua New Guinea's refugee status determination process is inconsistent with international law in a number of significant respects",
(B) "As United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has noted, the Regulation [Papua New Guinea's Migration Regulation] incorrectly applies the limited exclusion provisions of the Refugee Convention to ordinary criminal matters more properly dealt with under Papua New Guinea criminal law, which could lead to wrongful denial of refugee status", and
(C) "There is a serious risk that the forcible removal of an asylum seeker from Papua New Guinea may violate international law"; and
(b) agrees that the Papua New Guinea refugee status determination process is inconsistent with international law, and opposes the forced deportation from Papua New Guinea of people who have sought asylum in Australia.
Immigration matters in Papua New Guinea are a matter for the Papua New Guinea government. We have consistently said that those who have been found not to be owed protection should return to their home country. This is in accordance with normal international practice.