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Resettlement of West Papuan refugees in PNG to Vanuatu not an option for UNHCR
Written by Tangata Vainerere   
Monday, 13 October 2008
10 OCTOBER 2008  PORT MORESBY (Pacnews) ---- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says resettlement is not an option for a group of West Papuan refugees in Papua New Guinea (PNG), reports Radio New Zealand International  

This follows media reports that about 100 West Papuans have been offered resettlement in Vanuatu by that country’s national council of chiefs. The refugees, who have been evicted from public land in Port Moresby a number of times over the past year, say they want to leave for a third country.

However, the UNHCR’s received no official submission from Vanuatu. The UNHCR’s Ariane Rummery said  globally, less than  one percent of refugees get to be resettled in a third country due to the limited number of spots available.

“And that’s why resettlement, from UNHCR’s point of view, is really reserved for those refugees who have no other option, particularly in that they have can’t stay in their country of asylum. So with this particular group in PNG, they do have the right to remain in PNG - the PNG government has confirmed that, and they do have refugee status so from UNHCR’s point of view, they’re not priorities for resettlement under our guidelines…..PNS (ENDS) 

Last Updated ( Monday, 13 October 2008 )
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