Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill called Manus Island detention centre a ‘problem’ that has done damage to his country’s international reputation. According to Mr O’Neill, the centre should eventually be shut down. Mr O’Neill added that the PNG government does not have the resources to resettle the refugees already on Manus Island, leaving their future uncertain.
In Australia, immigration minister Peter Dutton refused to release a 70 year-old Iranian woman from immigration detention who has been held for three years. According to doctors, she is experiencing both physical and psychological problems. Under the Migration Act, Mr Dutton has discretionary powers to grant or deny Bridging Visas and his decision is not subject to judicial review.
The Greens introduced a bill to the Senate that would require the government to house families with children in the community rather than an immigration detention facility. The bill seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958 and would apply retrospectively.
The United Nations refugee agency warned of an imminent humanitarian crisis as refugees and migrants continue to gather on the Greek-Macedonian border. Balkan countries and Austria have capped daily refugee intakes, as crowded conditions in first ports of call, such as Greece, have led to shortages of food, water and sanitation.