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UN urges Australia to stop detaining refugees, shut detention centres

UNHCR has no other choice but to endorse relocation of all refugees to US

IANS  |  Canberra 

Silhouette of a group of refugees walking through a field. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Silhouette of a group of refugees walking through a field. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The for (UNHCR) on Monday urged to stop detaining and close down its offshore detention centres in and

"Four years on, more than 2,000 people are still languishing in unacceptable circumstances. Families have been separated and many have suffered physical and psychological harm," chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement.

According to the statement, around 2,500 and asylum-seekers have been forcibly transferred by for offshore processing of their applications in and since the introduction of the current policy in 2013.

Of these, some 1,100 remain in and 900 in Papua New Guinea, added the statement.

The statement adds that the Australian government informed the it will not accept on its territory and offered the options of either letting them be where they are, or transferring them to Cambodia, with whom it signed an agreement in 2014, or the US, with whom it signed an agreement in 2016, to transfer some of the detained in and

"To avoid prolonging their ordeal, has no other choice but to endorse the relocation of all on and to the US, even those with close family members in Australia," the said in his statement.

Many of the in these offshore centres have fled strife-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Darfur, Pakistan, and Syria, and have escaped discrimination or status as stateless persons such as the from

First Published: Mon, July 24 2017. 17:56 IST
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