Briefing Note On Nauru

Teams from our office have witnessed many of the migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, including children, in Nauru suffering from severe mental health problems as a result of their detention and lack of certainty. Some of these individuals had already experienced trauma in their home countries and sometimes also during theirs journey to Australia. They were then transferred to Nauru, where they were initially detained at the regional processing centre in harsh conditions. Over the years, and despite the opening up of the centres in October 2015, their situation has become increasingly dire and untenable, exacerbated by the indefinite nature of their time in Nauru, or for that matter in Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

The allegations contained in the documents must be systematically and properly investigated and those responsible held accountable. We have consistently called on the authorities in Nauru and Australia to put an end to the model of processing and keeping migrants offshore. We have urged them to promptly put in place measures to prevent the kinds of incidents revealed in the reports from occurring and to ensure that the physical and mental integrity of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers is protected. We call on Australia and Nauru to expeditiously end the immigration detention of children, and urge the authorities to institute human rights-compliant alternatives. We urge Nauru, as a party to the Optional Protocol on the UN Convention against Torture, to establish a national mechanism for the prevention of torture and we reiterate our offer to assist in this regard.

For more information and media requests, please contact please contact Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org )