7 Apr 2009

Treatment of asylum seekers has improved says Australia's Refugee Council

7:40 am on 7 April 2009

The President of the Refugee Council in Australia, John Gibson, says the treatment of asylum seekers to Australia has improved since the abolishment of its detention centre on Nauru.

Last year Australia closed the facilities, seven years after launching the Pacific solution, its policy of screening asylum-seekers offshore.

The Age newspaper recently reported that four Afghan asylum seekers who were sent home after being detained in Nauru, have now successfully gained refugee status after making a second attempt.

The President of Australia's Refugee Council John Gibson says the Rudd government has shown significant improvements in the treatment of detainees.

"People now have proper representation and are able to put their claims in. The basic factor is the great majority of them are coming from countries of persecution. So you know the various cohorts have been Sri Lankan, Iraqi, Afghan or countries where there are significant concerns about human rights abuses and persecution."

John Gibson says despite the improvements, he is still critical of detainees being confined under maximum security.