Jacinda Ardern reconfirms offer to take 150 refugees from Australian detention centres


A statement released on October 31st, states that Australian Government will continue to provide accommodation, health and other services to over 600 refugees in Manus.

Some of the refugees on Manus have appealed directly to Ardern, saying they are begging her to help them. Below is a cartoon by Eaten Fish, who has been detained on Papua New Guinea for more than four years.

The offer to take 150 refugees now detained on Manus Island and Nauru stands, the Prime Minister says. Ardern says she will raise the issue with her Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, when the two leaders meet later this week.

New Zealand's new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, renewed her predecessor, John Key's, offer to resettle 150 asylum seekers now in Australia's offshore detention centres.

Iranian Behrouz Boochani, another Manus detainee, told AFP Friday the detainees viewed New Zealand as a "big opportunity to take us from this hellhole prison".

The Australian government has argued PNG should not deal with New Zealand because that would open a backdoor path into Australia.

Boochani added that the detainees were able to "collect water in rubbish bins" after a downpour the day before, and were also boiling water pooled inside a hole they had dug to drink. Majority are from countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Syria and say returning is not an option.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is carrying out the vetting of the detainees, but so far, only 54 asylum-seekers from both camps have been approved for resettlement and flown to the US.

The reality is if people are saying that after nearly five years at a detention centre, they would rather be shot than move to another one, it's time to listen.

The UNHCR representative on the island, Lam Nai Jit, told AFP Thursday tensions were likely to rise as the men battled the "extremely hot and humid" weather.

In 2016, Australians only took 27,600 of the 65.6 million individuals who were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations.

The newspaper The Australian, which gained access to the compound on Thursday, said some of the men had not been outside the site since they were taken there years ago, and were nearly hysterical about leaving.

Horrific reports from inside the Manus Island detention centre.

Canberra's offshore processing policy has been criticised by rights groups as essentially placing refugees in indefinite detention on remote Pacific islands.

Greens senator Nick McKim has gone so far as to say the closure of the camp, with no long-term alternative, could result in death.