‘Unbearable’ is how the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights has described the situation for detainees on Nauru and the Australian Greens say it is time to act.
“The world is watching while Australia mistreats extremely vulnerable people who come to us for help and it is high time the Government started listening to the criticism from top human rights experts,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“When the Nauru and PNG designations were before Parliament I moved to put a 12 month time limit on how long a person can be exiled offshore but the old parties colluded to vote down my amendments.
“The torturous uncertainty that comes with illegal, arbitrary and indefinite detention is clearly linked to mental illness and this is an ordeal these refugees, who are already fleeing violence and persecution, should not be put through.
“When will the Government start listening to the criticisms of the world’s preeminent experts in human rights and immigration?
“The Immigration Minister needs to accept that the reanimation of Howard’s inhumane immigration policies has failed and the Government must instead offer people safer pathways to Australia so that they can claim asylum safely, as this is the only way to save people’s lives.
“The spectacular failure of the Government’s offshore detention policy is laid bare by the fact that tents are currently being taken to Christmas Island to house the overflow of refugees arriving by boat.
“The last time tent accommodation was used at Christmas Island due to overcrowding it created a pressure cooker environment that led to intolerable levels of stress and tension within the centre.”
Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760