1 Sep 2015

Advocate says Aust senate inquiry likely to be ignored

2:13 pm on 1 September 2015

An Australian refugee advocate says an Australian Senate inquiry into abuse at the asylum seeker detention centre in Nauru is likely to be ignored.

The Senate Committee's scathing 132-page report says the centre is not well run, and that the Australian government should speed up the removal of children and move towards a more open centre.

It also calls for a full audit into allegations of sexual abuse and other crimes, and proper access for human rights organisations and the media.

Refugee Asylum Seekers children take part in protest on Nauru

Refugee children on Nauru. Photo: supplied

But the government Senators on the committee have issued a dissenting report, saying the inquiry was politically motivated, and the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, says it was a political witch-hunt by an opposition-dominated committee.

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul says the response is typical of a government that has turned a blind eye to abuse at the centre.

"It's been very well known that this is happening and finally it was forced on the government. They thought, I think, that the inquiry would just flick it off but the inquiry confirmed that there were systematic abuse. We've got numerous cases of first-hand testimony, and the Senate inquiry was really just the tip of the iceberg."