21 Mar 2013

Nauru asylum claims assessments to start next week

12:00 pm on 21 March 2013

The Nauru Government says it will be next week at the earliest before the assessment of claims for refugee status from the inmates of the Australian asylum seeker detention camp start.

This week the island's Department of Justice and Border Control started training five locals as refugee status determination officers.

The Nauru Government says it has seconded Australian Government officials to start the assessments and to train their Nauruan colleagues.

Two staff from the Australian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are also on the island this week at the request of the Nauru government to provide an overview of international systems as well as technical advice and capacity building in line with the Refugee Convention.

Their visit is part of the UNHCR's usual capacity building program in the Pacific region, but they are not be engaged in the processing of asylum claims.

Another five Nauruan trainees have also been sent to Melbourne for further training in refugee status determination.