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Christmas Island

This tag is associated with 17 posts

Australia forms anti-people smuggling deal with Malaysia


Australia has struck a series of deals with Malaysia to limit the transit of asylum-seekers across its territory to Indonesia. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, the first Abbott government minister to visit Malaysia, has returned from meetings with Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid with agreements on “operational co-operation” under his belt. “I was pleased to reboot … Continue reading

Australian staff evacuated from asylum detention centre after conflict between Papua New Guinea security forces


The Australian immigration minister, Scott Morrison, has confirmed that Australian staff were evacuated from the regional processing centre on Manus Island after an incident involving “Papua New Guinean agencies”. The minister, who said he had not been fully briefed on the incident, said details were a “matter for the Papua New Guinean government to address”. … Continue reading

Indonesian asylum-seekers give up hope on Australia


As the realisation takes hold that they are shut out of Australia, growing numbers of asylum-seekers trapped in Indonesia are considering voluntarily returning to their homelands. Asylum-seekers in Cisarua, south of Jakarta, told The Australian that Tony Abbott’s election victory was the final blow to lingering hopes of getting to Australia by boat and being allowed … Continue reading

UN warns Australia that asylum seeker policy may breach international law


The United Nations refugee agency has warned Australia that its decision to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea could breach international law and its human rights obligations. Around 700 asylum seekers have arrived at Christmas Island since the deal was announced last week, and will be eligible to be resettled in PNG, not in Australia, if … Continue reading

Australia in breach of international human rights laws over Manus Island asylum seekers


The international refugee agency says it is ”deeply concerned” for the asylum seekers Australia sends to Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island detention centre. In its second report on the conditions on the island centre, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says PNG is in breach of international human rights laws by detaining the asylum … Continue reading

UN says Australia has no ethics on asylum seekers


The head of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Australia has expressed alarm at the “mean-spirited” public debate on asylum-seekers, warning that the nation is at a “crossroads” and must decide if it will continue to pursue harsh policies of deterrence. The UNHCR’s regional representative, Richard Towle, said while Australia had an effective and … Continue reading

Australian authorities too busy to recover floating bodies of asylum seekers


Australian authorities are too busy to recover the floating bodies of asylum seekers whose boat sank near Christmas Island. Thirteen bodies were spotted on Saturday as aircraft and boats searched for the vessel that was believed to have been carrying about 55 men, women and children before it capsized northwest of the island. A three-day … Continue reading

Asylum detainee in Australia is wanted for murder and terrorism in Egypt


An asylum seeker who arrived at Christmas Island last year was wanted in Egypt for premeditated murder, possession of weapons and explosives and destruction of property. The unnamed man was initially held at the low security Inverbrackie detention facility in South Australia. He was moved to a secure facility in Sydney on April 17, some … Continue reading

Up to 25,000 asylum seekers expected in Australia this year


The immigration department vastly underestimated the number of asylum seekers expected to arrive in Australia this financial year, with up to 25,000 now expected – almost five times more than initial forecasts. Last year, the immigration department estimated just 5400 asylum seekers would arrive in Australia in 2012-13, before being forced to revise it to … Continue reading

United Nations refugee agency slams Australia’s tough new asylum seeker policy


The UN refugee agency took Australia to task Wednesday over a tough new policy that allows boat people who reach its mainland to be sent to remote Nauru or Papua New Guinea for detention while their asylum claims are processed. The so-called “excision” rules, passed last week, extend previous legislation which only allowed the authorities … Continue reading

Australian mainland now off limits for asylum seekers


The government and opposition have rejected a bid to open the offshore detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea for inspection by Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. They have also blocked an attempt to give the Australian media the same access to the centres that it has to mainland and Christmas Island detention facilities. There … Continue reading

Australian Immigration Department criticises government policy as “harsh”


The head of the Immigration Department has sharply criticised the Gillard government‘s decision to increase federal court fees since 2010, arguing the policy has had “harsh” and “unintended” consequences on refugee clients. It is highly unusual for one of the government’s own departments to criticise policy in such a strident way, but in a letter … Continue reading

Indonesia still stalling on asylum rescue effort; Australia expresses concern


Indonesian rescue authorities were last night still unable to find survivors or likely search sites for possibly two asylum-seeker boats that disappeared in the Sunda Strait last week. The weekend passed without Basarnas, the search and rescue agency, initiating searches for between 60 and 120 passengers thought to be missing. Basarnas officials said yesterday they … Continue reading

Australia says asylum seeker boat arrival not a new people smuggling strategy


Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor believes an asylum-seeker vessel that made it to the mainland is an exception, and does not herald a new strategy by people-smugglers. The Sri Lankan navy has warned the vessel’s arrival in the West Australian port of Geraldton will encourage more people to take the dangerous voyage, believing they can evade … Continue reading

Australia hails “Bali Process” countries criminalisation of people smuggling


Foreign Minister Bob Carr has hailed an agreement by 37 Bali Process countries to criminalise people-smuggling and human-trafficking as a “huge advance”. The Bali Process ministerial meeting yesterday also agreed to link with the Australian-sponsored Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation to train regional police forces to deal with people-smugglers and traffickers as trans-national criminals. … Continue reading

Asylum-seeker boat arrival numbers increase in Australia


The number of asylum-seekers coming to Australia by boat surged in the first 2 1/2 months of this year, with a 55 per cent spike in arrivals compared to the same period last year. Almost 1900 people have arrived in the first 73 days of this year, compared with 1209 for the same period last year, … Continue reading

Australian navy intercepts Indonesian people-smuggling ship


The Java-Christmas Island people-smuggling trade is ramping up again, with 452 passengers arriving so far this month and at least another 140 people likely to be on the way. The pick-up in asylum-seekers came as about 20 of them were thrown into rough seas to the north of Christmas Island and successfully rescued on Wednesday … Continue reading

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