Manus refugee offer head of agenda for PM's visit to Australia

Manus refugee offer head of agenda for PM's visit to Australia

For more than three days, about 600 men have barricaded themselves inside in a camp on Manus Island, defying efforts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to shut it, despite having no food or running water.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday repeated her country's offer to take up to 150 refugees.

Urging the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea to fully respect their human rights, Colville said: "We repeat our overall concerns about Australia's offshore processing centers, which are unsustainable, inhumane and contrary to its human rights obligations".

Since 2013, Canberra has locked up all asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat in camps in the South Pacific.

A Manus Island refugee during the daily protest in the detention centre, 5-11-17.

On Manus Island, refugees reacted to the news by holding placards at their daily protest, thanking New Zealand for 'trying again'. "I intend to reaffirm our offer when we meet", Ardern said.

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Immigration minister Peter Dutton said Mr Shorten's "policy on the run" was reminiscent of the Gillard and Rudd Labor governments, which he says presided over an increase in the people smuggling trade.

The Australian government has not responded to Colville's comments.

"We call on the Australian government. who interned the men in the first place to immediately provide protection, food, water and other basic services", United Nations rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing on Friday. "After a year they only sent 25 refugees to America and we don't know when they (US officials) will come here to do the process again", he said.

Recorded messages from two men on the island were played at the rally outside the State Library in Melbourne on Saturday, as they described their situation.

Meanwhile, the PNG Supreme Court will hear an application from refugee lawyers today that could result in orders for life support services to be restored at the detention centre. The men have been told to leave, but fear they will be attacked by members of the local community who do not wish for them to settle in PNG.

Acting Australian Prime Minister Julie Bishop has said that they would be given shelter, food and medical care in Lorengau, but Nat Jit Lam, regional representative for the United Nations refugee agency, said the sites in Lorengau were not ready.

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