2 Aug 2010

Refugee advocate says Pacific Solution a disaster for Australia

6:27 pm on 2 August 2010

A refugee advocate from Australia says she wrote a book about the asylum seekers sent to Nauru under the controversial Pacific Solution, to share what she describes as a disaster.

Susan Metcalfe's book, titled The Pacific Solution, assesses the Australian Government's policy to detain asylum seekers in offshore camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru between 2001 and 2008.

Ms Metcalfe says she visited Nauru ten times during the life of the policy and says what she saw was depressing.

"This is a policy that we would never want to return to. There were numerous self-harm attempts, depression, anxieties became endemic within the camps. People were held there for long periods of time. As far as I'm concerned, it was an absolute disaster in our history."

Susan Metcalfe says it is frightening to know that the Australian Opposition is considering re-opening a refugee processing centre on the island.