Nauru has been used as a refugee island by Australia, which has a population of 10,000, with roughly 1,159 refugee seekers, making it one of the highest refugees per capita in the world. Although Australia has voiced at various fronts that the Nauruan Government is solely responsible for how refugees are handled on its territory, the Migration Act says the Australian government can take decisions when regional processing is involved.
Amnesty International and the United Nations has asked both the Australian government and the Nauruan Government to consider various cases of sexual abuse and mistreatment of refugee children in Nauru. Amnesty has also conducted a research, asking over 100 refugees over their treatment, and documented it in their report Island of Despair: Australia’s ‘processing of refugees. United Nations has also condemned Nauruan Government over its negligence to prudently process asylum requests. Australia has also invested taxpayer money n contractual companies, who have already said they may flee the island soon. Although Australia signed a historic Refugee Convention six decades back, it has now started to do the opposite and has abused refugees going against the international law. They have turned Nauru into a prison, from where refugee cannot enter the borders of Australia.
Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, Anna Neistat has asked both governments to investigate the human rights violations taking place at Nauru, while also allowing refugees and asylums seekers to enter Australia through swift processing of papers. “The Australian government’s policy is the exact opposite of what countries should be pursuing. It is a model that minimizes protection and maximizes harm. The only direction in which Australia is leading the world on refugees is in a dangerous plunge to the bottom. The Australian authorities should come to the same conclusion, shut down the “processing” center on the island… These people cannot wait a moment longer for a humane solution,” said Anna Neistat.”
Anna also highlighted that neither international aid agencies are allowed now journalists can enter the territory, while Nauru regularly detains asylum seekers for no reasons. The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, also highlighted that there can be severe mental trauma, refugees and especially children may be going through.