Australia

‘Semi-catatonic children’ among victims of Australia’s offshore detention policy: UNHCR

A “pervasive sense of helplessness and hopelessness” exists among those held in Australia’s offshore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, which has worsened in recent months, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned on Friday.  In an appeal to the Australian Government to evacuate the more than 1,400 asylum-seekers and migrants there, UNHCR spokesperson Catherine Stubberfield told UN News that some children have become “semi-catatonic” and need urgent help.

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News in Brief 12 October 2018

  • Violent clashes in eastern DRC undermining Ebola response
  • Australia urged to evacuate offshore processing facilities amid suicides and mental distress
  • 833 children released from armed group in North-East Nigeria
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Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

Australia should end its offshore processing policy on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea amid reports of widespread, acute mental distress and attempted suicide by children and young adults, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday.

News in Brief 17 July 2018

  • Nicaraguan State must end demonstrator killings: UN human rights office
  • UN refugee agency appeals over Australia refugee family separation
  • Spain overtakes Italy as number one route for migrants
  • DR Congo Ebola outbreak set to be declared over
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Australia’s offshore processing policy for refugees has taken huge toll, warns senior UNHCR official

Asylum seekers bound for Australia have been left mentally scarred by years of detention on Pacific islands, senior UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) official Indrika Ratwatte said on Wednesday. 

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Australia-bound asylum seekers left mentally scarred by years of detention on Pacific islands, warns UN refugee official

A senior United Nations refugee agency official warned on Wednesday about the “shocking” effects of long-term detention on Australia-bound asylum seekers who are being held on remote Pacific islands.

Sea boundaries treaty by Australia and Timor-Leste ‘example to follow’ – UN chief

Australia and Timor-Leste on Tuesday signed a bilateral maritime boundaries treaty, which United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres hailed as a ground-breaking event that could inspire other countries to peacefully settle disputes through mediation.

News in Brief 13 February 2018

  • Myanmar urged to address statelessness issue to resolve Rohingya crisis
  • Refugees perish seeking safety in Uganda: UNHCR
  • Refugees, asylum seekers “grasping for hope” on Manus Island
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UN urges Australia to find humane solutions for refugees, asylum seekers on Manus Island

The United Nations refugee agency warned on Friday that the situation of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island continues to remain dangerous, and called on the Australian Government to “live up to its responsibilities” and urgently find humane and appropriate solutions.

Situation on Australian offshore processing facility at risk of further deterioration, UN warns

Stating that the beating of refugees and asylum-seekers at the former regional processing centre on Manus Island by uniformed officers is both “shocking and inexcusable,” the United Nations refugee agency has urged the Australian Government to take immediate action to ensure their safety and protection.