Australia’s offshore processing policy
Under Australian Government policy, any asylum seeker arriving in Australia by boat is sent to offshore ‘processing centres’ on Papua New Guinea or Nauru.
Since 19 July 2013, the Australian Government has stated that even if these asylum seekers are recognised as refugees they are unable to be permanently resettled in Australia. This is despite the fact that seeking asylum is legal, whether by boat or other form of transport, under both Australian and international law. Between July 2013 and December 2014 more than 3,000 people have been sent to Nauru and Papua New Guinea under this policy.
Many refugees have since been resettled to third countries, mainly the USA. However more than 200 refugees and asylum seekers remain in limbo on Nauru and Papua New Guinea, with still no certainty about their future.
More than 1,000 more have been transferred to Australia, mostly for medical treatment, some of whom remain detained in places including hotels and immigration detention centres, or in community detention.