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Australian offshore policy for asylum seekers

January 2014, 23
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Australian offshore policy
A new deal under the Australian government sees asylum seekers who come to Australia on boats run by people smugglers, have their applications processed  in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Last month the prospect was raised by Mr Talagri that Niue should be taken into consideration as well, for a suitable destination where asylum seekers could be housed through the Australian offshore processing policy. As a member of the Pacific Island Forum, Mr Talagri felt it was his duty as neighbour, to offer to accommodate the women and vulnerable children amongst the refugees.

The proposal was turned down due to a overwhelmingly 10-3 conclusion between MPs of the opposition, seven of the twenty cabinet ministers and MPs chose to abstain on Wednesdays decision. According to the editor of the Niue Star, the MPs who were against the proposition said their votes were made in accordance with the people who were in the village meetings.

MP Terry Coe, of the opposition, is said to be disappointed as three of the cabinet ministers who abstained from voting were against the idea of housing the refugees, by not casting a vote which reflected their views it now means that Mr Talagri is able to propose the idea again later this year once elections have been made. The country of Niue spans approximately two hundred and sixty square kilometres and it is the home to around one thousand four hundred people. The country is located in the South Pacific ocean and approximately two thousand four hundred kilometres to the North East of New Zealand.

The Pacific Nations who are in place to host asylum seekers that are heading into Australia are presented with incentives such as the funding needed development projects and foreign aid. The Government of Australia take responsibility the fees which come with the cost  of building, maintaining and running the centres which the asylum seekers are to be contained in. Scott Morrison, Australia's minister of immigration, is reported to have said that the policy of offshore processing has successfully seen a decrease in the amount of asylum seekers trying to gain entry and the previous few months has seen quite a dramatic fall in numbers.

However many rights groups are tremendously exasperated by the whole situation, Amnesty International have stated that they believe the conditions the asylum seekers are being forced to live in in Papua New Guinea are inhumane and amount to torture.

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