08/10/2016, 09.54
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Sexual violence and suicide attempts: the hell of Nauru immigration center

The victims are women and children fleeing from Asian countries. The facility operated by the Australian government is criticized for lack of transparency and independent observers. According Canberra the charges "are unsubstantiated”.

Nauru (AsiaNews) - Accidents, sexual violence, suicide attempts and beatings. Two thousand cases have been reported, according to documents published by The Guardian regarding the living conditions of migrants detained in Nauru center, Micronesia State. It houses 500 people from all over Asia who have been arrested by the Australian government as illegal immigrants.


According to the newspaper report, the island immigrants are being treated without dignity and with total disregard for their rights. Australian companies that manage the facilities are required by contract to report any accident that occurs on the island. The documents published - which refer to the period between May 2013 and October 2015 - were compiled by guards, social workers and teachers.

Many accidents involve children with trauma caused by abuse and violence. Many of the children suffer from psychological disorders, nightmares and have even attempted suicide several times. There are dozens of cases of sexual violence, especially against young women by the staff on the island. There are also countless incidents of verbal abuse and threats.

The Australian government responded by saying that the reports contain "unsubstantiated allegations." A spokesman in Canberra said that "the Australian Government continues to support the Government of Nauru in providing health, safety and welfare of all the transferred refugees".

Richard Marles, defense minister, criticized the government for lack of transparency and independent observers in the detention center.

The ocean portion between Papua New Guinea and Australia has long been a prime route for those fleeing: the migrants come mostly from South East Asia, but there are Middle Eastern. The vast majority of migrants trying to reach Australia by boat are arrested and taken to detention centers in Nauru or Manus (Papua New Guinea). Under the law, they can not be accepted in Australia even if they are considered political or civilian refugees.

Both detention centers are the focus of activists and advocates for human rights, who denounce abuses taking place and the the inflexibility of Australian immigration policy.

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