Australia Leaves Refugees ‘Unsupported’ In Nauru: Lawyer

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Human rights attorney says one year living expenses not enough’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 23, 2014) – A human rights lawyer says the Australian government is leaving new refugees in Papua New Guinea and Nauru unsupported as they enter the community.

13 asylum seekers have been granted refugee visas in Nauru, and 11 on PNG's Manus island.

The Australian government says they will be able to leave the country, but will not be able to enter Australia.

Its Immigration minister, Scott Morrison, has told the Sydney Morning Herald, they will be supported with living costs for up to a year.

An Australian lawyer, Julian Burnside, says it's not good enough.

"It is ludicrous to suppose that within 12 months of being released into the Nauruan community any refugee will be able to support themselves in that community. The local Nauruans have difficulty supporting themselves in their community and they are distinctly tribal so that they will not welcome people who come from a different culture."

Julian Burnside says refugees will be even less welcome in the tribal Papua New Guinea community.

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