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UN says Australia's PNG refugee camp is inadequate

Published on Feb 4, 2013 10:35 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - A United Nations report on Monday criticised Australia's immigration camp on Papua New Guinea, warning living conditions are harsh and asylum-seekers' detention arbitrary.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees called for no more children to be sent to the camp on remote Manus Island, which was established as part of Australia's plan to ship refugees offshore to deter more from coming.

In its report, the UNHCR warned of "very significant inadequacies in the legal and operational framework governing the transfer, treatment and processing" of asylum-seekers.

Detaining asylum-seekers on a mandatory and indefinite basis, without possibility for review, amounted to "arbitrary detention which is inconsistent with international human rights law", it added.

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