14 August 2012

Australia to deport asylum seekers to Pacific islands

Asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat will be sent to the Pacific island of Nauru or to Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island for processing, the prime minister Julia Gillard announced on 13 August. The proposal to reopen the detention centres is part of a new plan to prevent overcrowded boats sinking en route and to deter refugees from reaching Australia. The proposal is the result of recommendations of an expert panel convened six weeks ago to find a political solution.

The announcement drew immediate condemnation from human rights groups, who say that ‘sending asylum seekers to places like … Nauru and Papua New Guinea is unacceptable and a complete outsourcing of Australia’s human rights obligations’. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it would study the proposal in more detail.

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Source: International Herald Tribune | Premier of Australia Backs Plan on Refugees
Source: BBC | Australia asylum: MPs debate Nauru and PNG centres
Source: The Guardian | Australia to deport boat asylum seekers to Pacific islands

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