Compensation deal must be turning point for a better solution for refugees

In response to the news that the Australian government and companies have come to a settlement agreement with the refugees and people seeking asylum forcibly sent to and detained on Manus Island, Kate Schuetze, Pacific Researcher at Amnesty International said:

“The settlement marks a historic agreement by the Australian government and corporations to compensate refugees and people seeking asylum for the deliberate harm they have endured on Manus Island. However, financial compensation alone is not enough.”

“The reality is this deal does not change the immediate situation for the people trapped on Manus and Nauru. Now is the time to bring the 2,000 people still warehoused in offshore detention to safety in Australia.

“This historic settlement is a major crack in the Australian Government’s crumbling system of abuse and must be a turning point towards a better solution for refugees – one that is grounded in protection not abuse.

“This agreement must also serve as a warning to any company or organisation who is complicit in abuse through the Australian government’s offshore detention regime that they will be held liable.”

Amnesty International calls on the Australian Government to:

  • Bring all asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island to Australia immediately.
  • Close the Regional Processing Centres and other refugee facilities on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
  • Assess, in a fair and timely manner, those whose international protection applications have not been finalised by the authorities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
  • Ensure that all those who were granted refugee status on Nauru and Manus have the right to settle in Australia.