Pacific islands must call on Australia to end traumatic offshore detention

17 January 2019, 10:07 UTC | Asia and The Pacific

At the start of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Vanuatu and Fiji on 16-18 January 2019, Amnesty International calls on their governments to raise the regional humanitarian crisis triggered by Australia’s indefinite detention of refugees and people seeking asylum.

“More than a thousand innocent men and women remain locked away in Australia’s open-air prisons, in Nauru and Manus Island. By failing in its responsibility to refugees and people seeking asylum, the Australian government has created a regional crisis in the Pacific islands,” says Roshika Deo, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

"By failing in its responsibility to refugees and people seeking asylum, the Australian government has created a regional crisis in the Pacific islands.”

Roshika Deo, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher

“It was Prime Minister Scott Morrison who announced last year that Australia would end its detention of children in Nauru. This was a tacit admission that offshore detention is not a viable policy – in fact it is damaging to a person’s physical and mental well-being, regardless of age,” Deo said. 

“In their meetings with Morrison, the governments of Vanuatu and Fiji should raise this humanitarian crisis and call on his government to end its abusive detention policy once and for all,” Deo said. “From people seeking asylum to climate change, the Pacific islands have an opportunity to show leadership in rejecting Australia’s wrongful actions in the region. This historic visit is an important opportunity to demand a change of course.”
 

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