CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA —
A United Nations expert on migrants’ rights says a U.S. agreement to resettle an unspecified number of refugees would be a great achievement if it emptied Australia-run Pacific island camps where asylum seekers have been treated badly.
U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants Francois Crepeau said Friday that the bilateral deal announced last weekend was a good start to finding a solution that should involve closing asylum-seeker camps on the island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
The United States has agreed to resettle refugees among 1,300 asylum seekers held on Nauru and on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island for up to four years.
It is not clear if the change of U.S. administrations January 20 will impact the agreement.