August 15, 2013

PNG looks at asylum seeker job scheme

PAPUA New Guinea will have a better sense of how its refugee resettlement scheme with Australia will work by the end of August, following advice from international agencies.
PNG's department of immigration says it is considering directing resettled asylum seekers into available jobs in the public and private sectors.
"There are associated issues that officials are working through such as requirements for permits and so forth," a department spokesman told AAP.
"It is still to early to give specifics but we are working on it and should have some definite indications by the end of this month."
Advice is being sought from the UNHCR, International Organisation for Migration and others.
"Options for settlement are being considered and one of the quickest pathways is to engage professionals among them into available jobs in the public and private sectors," the spokesman said.
PNG's foreign minister Rimbink Pato said last week the government will create a special visa class for asylum seekers, and pass laws to stop legal action against the asylum seeker deal.
Australia is currently housing 223 asylum seekers on Manus Island, a province of PNG located just two degrees from the equator.
An expanded asylum seeker processing centre has been announced by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his Australian counterpart, Kevin Rudd. This announcement was improper, deputy opposition leader Sam Basil said.
"This agreement was signed unilaterally by the prime minister without regard for oversight and sanction by the national executive council and the parliament," deputy opposition leader Sam Basil said in a statement.
PNG's opposition have launched a legal challenge against the deal.
The Australian government has said the Manus plan has seen a 30 per cent drop in the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat.



Author: verified_user