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Australia Transferring 100s of Pacific Island Detainees to US

Image: Australia Transferring 100s of Pacific Island Detainees to US

Detainees prepare for the day at a refugee camp on the Island of Nauru. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
 

By    |   Monday, 14 Nov 2016 12:23 PM

Australia plans to transfer hundreds of refugees from Pacific island detention centers to the U.S. in a deal brokered with the outgoing Obama administration. Many of them were intercepted fleeing from the Middle East.

CNN reported that Australia will transfer the refugees being held in offshore detention centers to America in a “one-off” deal that was announced on Sunday.

During a press conference, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the deal would only be available “to those currently in the regional processing centers” and will prioritize “women, children and families.”

There are some 1,300 people currently being held in offshore detention centers on the Pacific Island nation of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, CNN noted.

Of those being held, most of them are from the Middle East and South Asia, CNN noted.

There have been reportedly several cases of human rights abuses documented at the centers, according to CNN, and last month, Amnesty International went as far as to accuse the Australian government of turning Nauru into an “open-air prison.”

In October, a UN committee report showed multiple cases of “attempted suicide, self-immolation, acts of self-harm and depression” among children living in the “detention-like conditions,” CNN noted.

According to Voice of America, due to strict border security laws, asylum seekers caught trying to reach Australia by boat are sent to migrant centers at Manus Island and Nauru.

The border security laws are aimed at “deterring unauthorized boat arrivals that have been reduced to barely a trickle in recent years,” VOA noted.

Despite Australia’s resettlement deal with the U.S., there are still some uncertainties, and officials have not said when the process of moving these refugees will actually begin.

“The agreement is with the United States,” Turnbull said. “It is a one-off agreement. It will not be repeated…It will not be available to any persons who seek to reach Australia in the future. Our priority is the resettlement of women, children and families. This will be an orderly process. It will take time, it will not be rushed.”

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Australia plans to transfer hundreds of refugees from Pacific island detention centers to the U.S. in a deal brokered with the outgoing Obama administration. Many of them were intercepted fleeing from the Middle East.
australia, transferring, pacific, island, detainees
339
2016-23-14
Monday, 14 Nov 2016 12:23 PM
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