Turnbull Government Must Not Abandon Manus Refugees

The Australian Government has a moral responsibility to bring those being detained on Manus Island to Australia immediately, World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said today.

Mr Costello made the call for the immediate evacuation of all those detained on Manus, amid warnings of a potentially violent local backlash to the dismantling of the Australian-funded detention centre which will force an estimated 600 people into the community today (Tuesday 31 October).

“The Pacific solution was never a solution. It was an inhumane, callous response to people almost universally found to be legitimate refugees,” Mr Costello said.

“This was always going to end badly. The Turnbull Government must now act quickly to avoid any further bloodshed. We must not abandon those we have placed in this highly volatile and dangerous situation.” 

Six people detained on Manus have died including one who was murdered, since the detention centre was reopened by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2012

Mr Costello, who has visited refugee camps in Bangladesh and Uganda this year said with 65 million people in the world now displaced, Australia has a responsibility to do our fair share to assist those in need.

“Last year we upped our humanitarian intake of refugees to over 22,000 to accommodate the desperate need of people displaced by war in Syria and Iraq. The refugee crisis in Myanmar is another example of why we need to increase our intake,” said Mr Costello, who has just returned from visiting Rohingyan refugees in Bangladesh.

World Vision has been calling on the Government to increase Australia’s annual humanitarian intake of refugees to 42,000. The current intake is set at 16,250 refugees a year.

Picture: Tim Costello, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2017 

For interviews with Tim Costello please contact:

Stuart Rintoul +61 (0) 407 241 492

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