Executive Summary for November 9th

We review the latest refugee-related issues, including Manus inmates given 48 hours to leave as fence is dismantled, the Trump administration ending Central American child refugee program and Jordan building the largest refugee camp solar plant.

Published on Nov. 9, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Manus Holdouts Ordered to Leave Within 48 Hours

Asylum seekers in the defunct Manus detention center have been given 48 hours to leave. The fence at the camp in Papua New Guinea has been dismantled.

A letter was passed around inmates on November 9. According to the Refugee Action Coalition, an activist group, the PNG authorities have warned they may use force.

“You cannot continue to remain here in this condition,” said the letter from the Papua New Guinea Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority. “It is very bad for your health and well-being if you continue to refuse to move to your new accommodation where there is food, water, electricity and other services.”

The standoff at the Australian-run center comes after it was closed down by order of the PNG courts. The asylum seekers, some of whom have been inmates for four years, were detained while trying to reach Australia. With the closure of Manus, Australia wants the men to move to new centers.

However, the asylum seekers are concerned for their safety and have so far preferred to remain at Manus, even though water and electricity have been cut off and attempts have been made to block food deliveries.

The Refugee Action Coalition described the removal of the fence at Manus as a form of “psychological torture,” opening the men up to potential attack.

PNG police said that 38 asylum seekers had left Manus since an application to restore basic services to the camp was rejected. Only 54 of the 606 men at the camp have left since it officially closed.

U.S. Door Closes to Central American Child Refugees at Midnight

Children fleeing violence in Central America will no longer be able to apply for refugee status in the U.S. The program that served them is due to close at midnight on November 9.

The State Department said no new applications could be made from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras under the Central American Minors (CAM) program.

CAM was started under the Obama administration in 2014 but has fallen victim to President Donald Trump’s agenda of restricting entry to the U.S.

The Trump administration justified cutting the program, saying it was necessary “because the vast majority of individuals accessing the program were not eligible for refugee resettlement.”

Some 13,000 people have applied and 1,500 children and family members have been resettled in the U.S. under the program.

Largest Refugee Camp Solar Plant for Jordan’s Zaatari

The largest solar plant in a refugee camp will begin operating at Jordan’s Zaatari facility. On November 13, the 12.9-megawatt generator will be switched on, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

Jordan’s largest refugee camp is home to an estimated 80,000 refugees, primarily Syrians. The $17.5 million solar plant will provide more hours of electricity to Zaatari residents, said the UNHCR.

Jordan, which hosts 670,000 registered Syrian refugees and an estimated population of 1.3 million Syrians, is attempting a nationwide increase in solar capacity by 2020.

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