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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, appeals to the Government of Australia to take urgent action for all refugees and asylum-seekers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru today. UNHCR appreciates the efforts of doctors, independent experts, lawyers and elected representatives from all sides of politics to highlight the human cost of “offshore processing” and its consequences in recent weeks. This reflects growing recognition that lives are at immediate and critical risk, as well as increased community concern. Despite this, decisive action is still to be taken.
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Catherine Stubberfield – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
An Australian journalist given access to Nauru says there is strong opposition to an offer from the United States to accept refugees from the island.
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US officials have arrived in Australia to begin assessing Canberra's refugees who Australia wants to shift to the US.
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The Government of Nauru has welcomed news that refugees on the island will be resettled in the United States and has commended the Australian Government for its handling of the process.
Minister for Justice David Adeang said while the Government has consistently sought to correct false reports about conditions and safety of the refugees, it has also always stated the need to find suitable third countries for permanent resettlement.
The head of Save the Children Australia says the end of its tenure on Nauru means there is no longer an agency to speak up for the rights of children in detention there.
The charity winds up its operations at the Australia-run asylum seeker detention centre on Saturday, after the Australian government granted the welfare contract to the multinational, Transfield Services.
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