1 Sep 2015

Call for children to be removed from Nauru camps

8:41 am on 1 September 2015

A Senate inquiry in Australia has called for all children to be removed from the government's offshore asylum processing centre on Nauru.

The Australian Federal Senate Committee has been looking into the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru, and has made 15 recommendations to improve their welfare.

The Senate had been hearing scathing reports about the abuse of those in the Australian run camp for more than 3 months.

Refugee Asylum Seekers children take part in protest on Nauru

Refugee children take part in protest on Nauru Photo: supplied

It say the Australian government should develop a plan to remove children from the Nauru processing centre as soon as possible, with their families, to appropriate arrangements in the community.

It says the centre is not safe and calls for a full investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and other crimes committed there.

Australian Senate wants big changes at Nauru camp

The Senate Committee's recommendations also include a call for Australia to improve support to the Nauru police and judiciary to ensure they meet the standards of accountability and probity required by Australian and international law.

It wants to see improvements in the refugee determination process with speedier resolutions and the asylum seekers kept fully informed.

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The Australian Senate Photo: Australian parliament

It wants a review of all complaints against staff to be done by the Immigration Ombudsman and the opportunity to lodge complaints with independent bodies, including the Ombudsman or the Red Cross.

To improve transparency the committee wants access granted to the Australian Human Rights Commission and the media.

It wants the open centre arrangements expanded to create a lower security living arrangement for almost all asylum seekers and for children to be removed from the Nauru camps.

The report also calls for proper access for human rights workers and the media.

It wants to see a speedier processing of refugee claims, and that asylum seekers are kept informed throughout this process.

The Greens and Labor-dominated inquiry says security at the processing centre should be downgraded and control of humanitarian services handed over to specialist welfare agencies.

But the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has described the process as a witch-hunt.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton presents the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 in the House of Representatives at Parliament in Canberra on 24 June 2015.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton presents the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 in the House of Representatives at Parliament in Canberra. Photo: AAP

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