4 Jul 2008

Concern voiced for welfare of Papuan refugees in Port Moresby

3:29 pm on 4 July 2008

Concern has been raised about the poor living conditions among a group of Papuan refugees squatting in a public park in Papua New Guinea's capital.

The group of about 100 is currently camped at Boroko's Apex Park after being evicted from four different public locations over the past nine months.

The refugees are appealing for resettlement in a third country but say the UNHCR is neglecting their bid and have called on the PNG government to assist them.

A local NGO activist who has been camping with the refugees for the past two months, Richard Brunton, says he is concerned for the group's welfare.

He says the group includes children and elderly people who are contending with increasingly dire conditions.

"And for the past three or four days, real problems with sanitation and water. I've not seen one visit by UNHCR, Provincial Affairs, Foreign Affairs, even the Governor of the city, nobody's been down here to check out their conditions or hear the concerns about their safety and not having a place to stay."

Richard Brunton