Committee To Review Mistreatment Allegations On Nauru

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Established by senate following Moss report

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 26, 2015) – The Senate has voted to establish a select committee to review allegations of abuse and mistreatment at the Australian-run detention centre on Nauru.

Last Friday, the Australian Government released the long-awaited findings of the Moss review, which highlighted allegations of sexual and physical assault on asylum seekers, including children, at the Nauru centre.

The report also found allegations that staff on Nauru employed by charity Save the Children had not encouraged refugees to self-harm or manipulate abuse allegations, contrary to previous claims.

The vote to conduct the review, which will hear testimony under parliamentary privilege, was sponsored by Labor and the Greens and passed 31 votes to 29.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young welcomed the decision.

"There are some very dark corners in the detention camp on Nauru and now, finally, the truth can be revealed," Senator Hanson-Young said in a statement.

The Department of Immigration has accepted all 19 recommendations from the report, including a call to support the government of Nauru to better investigate and prosecute incidents of sexual assault.

The Senate vote came as Cambodia's interior minister and deputy prime minister, Sar Kheng, was in Australia sign a deal to resettle asylum seekers there.

The high-level Cambodian delegation was also in Nauru this week, where the ABC understands a number of briefings were held for refugees interested in relocating to Phnom Penh. But in one meeting, as few as three people turned up.

After signing the deal today, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton defended facilities on Nauru and said the school and health facilities provided to people detained on the island nation were on par with Australia's.

"I went to the educational facilities, the classrooms there where young people at taxpayers' expense are being provided with English classes and schooling otherwise [are] of a standard that is at least as good as I've seen in Australia," he said.

"I also had the great privilege to go to Afghanistan to see our troops ... and the field hospital that I saw there and the hospital arrangements that provided medical support to our soldiers on the ground was not, in my judgement, up to the standard that I saw in Nauru."

 

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