The immigration processing centre on the pacific island nation of Nauru was described as hot, crowded and full of rats in a United Nations report.
But the foreign minister, who recently visited the facility, says conditions there are better than those faced by miners in remote camps in Australia.
This comes as a letter from a group of doctors lambasting conditions faced by asylum seekers was obtained by The Guardian Australia.
Julie Bishop visited Nauru with deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek as part of a tour of several pacific nations, and had this to say afterwards, from The ABC:
“They [conditions] were certainly better than mining camps in Australia.
“The standard of medical care and services I thought was very high.
“We met with a number of the doctors. We talked to them in detail about the services that they’re providing.
“They themselves described the services as comparable to those that would be received in a significant regional centre in Australia.”
A UNHCR report was critical of the facility and said it was especially unsuitable for families and children.
Plibersek said conditions were tough for everyone on Nauru, which has an arid climate, adding that this could be worse for asylum seekers who don’t have the freedom of movement enjoyed by locals.
Offshore processing on Nauru and on Manus island in PNG was re-started under the former Labor government.
There’s more here.
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