11 Sep 2012

IOM not involved in Australian asylum centre camps yet

5:31 am on 11 September 2012

The International Organisation for Migration says it will not be involved when the first of Australia's offshore detention centres for processing asylum seekers re-opens.

The IOM ran the centres on Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea under Australia's Howard government, and last month both island countries accepted Canberra's request they be re-opened.

A temporary detention camp on Nauru, using tents for accommodation, is expected to be available for use later this week.

The IOM's Asia Pacific spokesperson, Joe Lowry says the organisation has been invited to be involved with the processing centres but so far, what he calls 'its principles for participation' have not been met.

"We certainly won't be involved right now when the camps open because as I understand ground's already been broken there and it would take a lot for us to get people on the ground and to be ready for the operational by the time, as we understand people are supposed to arrive there quite soon, and we simple wouldn't be ready."

Joe Lowry says the IOM is having ongoing discussions with the 3 governments to see how it can become involved with the detention centres.