New monitors for Australian asylum camps

2014-11-11 12:31
Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison. (William West, AFP)

Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison. (William West, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said he was establishing a new monitoring team for centres holding asylum-seekers, including camps on remote Pacific islands, after a series of abuse allegations.

Under Australia's hardliner immigration policies, designed to stop would-be refugees from risking their lives on people-smuggling boats asylum-seekers face mandatory detention.

Hundreds are being held in detention centres on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and the small state of Nauru despite criticism that these camps, which have endured riots, are harsh.

Morrison said the new team would operate independently of those running the centres, and advice the department of immigration on oversight of their management and performance.

"Service providers contracted to manage immigration detention do a good job in what can be challenging circumstances but it is important the government has the ability to independently ensure the integrity of service providers at detention centres", he said.

The team will monitor "the effectiveness of the high standards in place for detention service providers including, where necessary and appropriate, recommending action to deal with credible allegations of misconduct should they arise", he added.

The team will be able to undertake investigations and support inquiries into allegations or incidents in detention centres.

The announcement comes after the death of an Iranian man in riots at Manus Island in February. Another man had his throat cut, but survived.

Last month Australia ordered an inquiry into claims of sexual misconduct by staff at the camp in Nauru, including whether the reports were fabricated by aid workers.

"My department will address any gaps that may exist in the oversight of its service providers," Morrison said.

Under Canberra's immigration policy, asylum-seekers who arrive on boats are denied resettlement in Australia and sent to Papua New Guinea or Nauru, even if they are genuine refugees.

Only one boatload of asylum-seekers has reached the Australian mainland since December, compared to almost daily arrivals previously under the Labour administration.

Australia has faced broad criticism from rights groups over its immigration policies, but has rejected allegations it does not take its duty of care to asylum-seekers seriously.

A United Nations anti-torture review hearing into Australia currently underway has reportedly been dominated by concerns about the treatment of asylum-seekers.

Read more on:    australia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.