10 Key Facts about Australia’s Immigration Detention Regime
- Seeking asylum is 100% legal, regardless of the mode of arrival. This is under the UN Refugee Convention, which Australia has signed.
- 3,127 people have been sent to Nauru or PNG as part of offshore processing arrangements. An estimated 1,534 people are still on Nauru or PNG (Manus) as of 29 July 2018, and as of 30 June 2018 219 are still in Nauru Regional Processing Centre
- About 90% of asylum seekers who come by boat are found to be refugees – even with Australia’s extremely strict processes
- Since 2013, the Australian government has spent at least $14 billion on offshore processing, mandatory detention and other border protection policies. (ABC News, 13 Sep 2016; The Guardian, 5 Jan 2018)
- The Labor Party under Paul Keating introduced indefinite mandatory detention in 1994.
- Liberals established boat turnbacks and operation sovereign borders - Labor supports boat turnbacks
- Labor re-opened Manus and Nauru in 2012, banned refugees who arrived by boat from claiming asylum in Australia, and banned refugees who arrived by boat from reuniting with their family members.
- 12 asylum seekers have died on Manus and Nauru since 2014, many from suicide. (The Guardian, 20 June 2018)
- 119 children are in detention on Nauru. 30 children are suffering from traumatic withdrawal syndrome - also known as resignation syndrome. It's a rare psychiatric condition where sufferers, as a response to severe trauma, effectively withdraw from life. The condition can be life-threatening as victims become unable to eat and drink. Several children have attempted suicide. (BBC 2018)
- There are at least 100 children who have been born to people subject to offshore processing, as of 23 October 2017.