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Media Release: Senate Inquiry established into abuse in Australia’s detention centres

Media Release
Nick McKim 12 Sep 2016

The Greens and Labor have co-sponsored a motion to establish a Senate inquiry into the allegations of abuse and self-harm on Manus Island and Nauru.

“There have been horrendous allegations of assaults, sexual abuse and evidence of widespread cover-ups at high levels,” Greens Spokesperson for Immigration Senator Nick McKim said.

“The Government’s only responses have been denial, dismissiveness and disinterest.”

“We need to close the camps and bring the people there to Australia.”

“But until that happens, we need to reveal the truth.”

“While the Greens remain disappointed that Labor did not support a Royal Commission into Australia’s detention system, we thank them for their constructive approach on this inquiry.”

The motion passed the Senate, despite the Government’s opposition.


Full text of the motion:

–That –

1. The following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in March 2017:

-The serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre, with particular reference to:

(a) the factors that have contributed to the abuse and self-harm alleged to have occurred,

(b) how notifications of abuse and self-harm are investigated,

(c) the obligations of the Commonwealth Government and contractors relating to the treatment of asylum seekers, including the provision of support, capability and capacity building to local Nauruan authorities,

(d) the provision of support services for asylum seekers who have been alleged or been found to have been subject to abuse, neglect or self-harm in the Centres or within the community while residing in Nauru,

(e) the role an independent children's advocate could play in ensuring the rights and interests of unaccompanied minors are protected,

(f) the effect of Part 6 of the Australian Border Force Act 2015,

(g) attempts by the Commonwealth Government to negotiate third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees,

(h) additional measures that could be implemented to expedite third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees within the Centres, and

(i) any other related matters; and

2. The committee be granted access to all inquiry submissions and documents of the preceding committee relating to its inquiry into the conditions and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at the regional processing centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

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