PNG refugees moved in the community face more danger, more uncertainty

| November 19, 2019 | Reply

After a false start a week ago, PNG Immigration began moving refugees from Port Moresby’s Granville Motel to ‘community placement’ in two other hotels in Port Moresby.

Bus leaving Granville this afternoon

The first ten people were moved today (Tuesday, 19 November) to housing in the Four Mile residential area, near Boroko.

More people are expected to be moved tomorrow and in the coming days to finally end the use of the Granville Motel as refugee accommodation.

But under the guise of ‘community placement’, refugees will be more vulnerable, with fewer services and still left without resettlement and a secure future.

Despite the shocking history of numbers refugees being assaulted, bashed and robbed, the community accommodation will not be guarded. One of the suburbs of the community accommodation, Boroko, is considered particularly dangerous. A pamphlet distributed to refugees by the discredited PNG service provider, JDA, says ‘Walk in company at all times’, and that ‘Safe times to be out and about is from 7.30am to 5.30pm.’

While buses provided safe transport from Granville, there will also be no transport provided once refugees are ‘in the community’. Refugees will be given just two taxi vouchers a month; not enough to even cover necessary medical appointments to their only source of medical treatment, Pacific International Hospital (PIH).

Refugees will also be expected to provide their own food which will also mean refugees will be exposed to further danger by having to go to the shops. The 200 kina (about A$100) a week allowance will not cover the costs of food, water, phone, clothing, and personal necessities; more refugees will be prisoners in their rooms and driven into poverty.

“Instead of resettlement, refugees are being subjected to even more uncertainty and danger,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The forced move into the community will create more casualties of Australia’s offshore detention regime.

“PNG is a dangerous place for refugees. The move to the community solves nothing, and improves nothing. The Australian government has been holding them illegally for over six years. It’s time they were given the freedom and the secure resettlement they need. “

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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