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Australia will close asylum seekers detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea

On Wednesday the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea they said The Asylum Seeker Detention Centre, operated by the Australian government on Manus Island, northeast Papua New Guinea, will close on December 31. The detention center has been used by Australia since 2012 thanks to an agreement with the country’s government, which provided migrants rescued at sea to reside on the island to discourage them from trying to reach Australia: a practice that has been hotly contested internationally.

The Manus Center has been heavily criticized by both the United Nations and activist groups, who have repeatedly called for its closure due to the abuses that occurred there and the extremely poor hygiene conditions in which the migrants who were staying there lived. . In the past, the center had already been vacated, but many asylum seekers refused to leave because they claimed that the new facilities to which they would be transferred did not guarantee their safety.

Australia’s strict immigration policies will not change: Despite the decision to close the centre, the Australian government said asylum seekers at the facility will be able to move to another similar center on the island. Nauru – the smallest independent republic in the world – or citizenship application in Papua New Guinea.

– Read also: The Manus Asylum Detention Center Crisis

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