Australian Government misleads the UN, High Commissioner for Refugees calls for camps to be evacuated immediately

Today the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, revealed that the Australian Government misled the UN while seeking its support for the controversial US refugee resettlement deal. The UN also called for the immediate end to offshore detention and for the immediate evacuation of the centres on Manus and Nauru.

Grandi revealed that when the UNHCR agreed to assist with the relocation of refugees to the USA from Manus and Nauru, they did so on the ‘clear understanding’ that vulnerable refugees with close family ties in Australia would ultimately be allowed to resettle in safety in Australia. The Australian Government, who is responsible for these refugees, has reportedly reneged on this commitment.  

Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy with the Human Rights Law Centre, said “Enough is enough. Misleading the United Nations to secure support for a deal that has always been full of holes and then permanently ripping apart families - it's shocking. The government has completely abandoned basic decency.”

“Permanently ripping apart families is fundamentally wrong. Children deserve to be with their parents. Families forced to flee persecution deserve to build a future in safety together,” added Mr Webb.

“2000 innocent people - 169 children - have had four years of their lives ripped away from them. Every single one of them deserves a future.  After four years of fear and violence and suffering and death, our government must evacuate everyone warehoused on Nauru and Manus to safety in Australia.” said Mr Webb.

For further comments or queries please contact:

Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519