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MRPC contributes to rise in social issues

Meeting with Manus PA
OC team in a meeting with the Provincial Administrator Mr Nungu (yellow shirt) and his deputy to his right.

The Manus Regional Processing Centre (MRPC) has contributed more to the increase in social issues than spin-off benefits for the Manus people.

The MRPC is an offshore processing establishment for asylum seekers pursuing refuge in Australia. It hosts mainly male asylum seekers after women and chil-dren were transferred to Nauru and some were processed and accepted to the United States of America.

The Ombudsman Commission in a trip to Manus recently, learned among other issues the confusion on the application of laws on the asylum seekers. A deten-tion centre is understood to have restrictions on movement. However, it is other-wise in Manus. Asylum seekers are free to move around just like any other Papua New Guinean.

There is also a growing concern over the number of Manus women who have children from the asylum seekers. While some of the men take responsibilities to look after their children, the question is what will happen of these children and mothers when the men are processed and had to leave?

Manus Provincial Administrator, Oka Nungu said there is no control and regula-tion in the camp where asylum seekers are kept.

Mr Nungu said they have received complaints about the asylum seekers and it is a concern. Some of them have cases before the courts.

Deputy Provincial Administrator expressed frustrations over lack of consultation with the Provincial Administration when the Centre was first established.

The asylum seekers have reached a point where they are suicidal as a result of depression.

“We are sitting on a time bomb,” said Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick when assuring the provincial government that the Commission will look into the matter.

He said our people should not be compromised to cater for foreign agendas.

The detention centre was established in 2012 and has had a lot of controver-sial issues surrounding it. In October 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that the centre was illegal and ordered for its closure at Lombrum Naval.

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