In April, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea ruled that detaining people in Australia's Manus Island camp is illegal. And the PNG Prime Minister announced that the camp will be closed.
The governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia are deciding right now what will happen to the men still imprisoned on Manus Island. Legally, they might have a few options – but morally, there's only one. Our message is simple: These men should never have been sent to Manus Island. All those imprisoned on Manus and Nauru should be brought to safety in Australia, they’re claims processed quickly and they be allowed to begin rebuilding their lives. The Australian Government must call a summit to discuss alternative policy options – drawing on global expertise to develop a bipartisan, humane way forward.
We believe that people seeking safety should have their human rights respected, and be processed and resettled quickly if they are found to be legitimate refugees (which over 94% are).
Globally we continue to face the most significant period of people seeking safety since World War II. Around the world people are fleeing conflict, persecution, war and terror.
People seeking safety by travelling to Australia by boat face indefinite detention in remote offshore camps. This approach presents significant mental, emotional and physical harm to those who have already faced persecution or trauma. It is also significantly expensive, costing $1 million per person per year. Our analysis reveals that financial costs of at least $9.6 billion were incurred by Australian taxpayers between 2013 and 2016 in maintaining offshore processing, onshore mandatory detention and boat turn-backs. Offshore processing alone is estimated to cost over $400,000 per person, per year.
Australia should put its resources towards creating better options creating better options. We know there is a better way, and it is for this reason we are calling to #BringThemHere and discuss alternative options at a nation summit.
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Visit www.bringthemhere.org to read the stories of the men locked up on Manus Island.