15 Aug 2012

Nauru promises ayslum seeker welfare will be its highest priority

4:35 am on 15 August 2012

The Nauru government says the welfare of asylum seekers that may be shipped to the island by Australia is a key consideration for his government.

Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island provided detention camps for people seeking refugee status in Australia from 2001 until they were closed by the Labor government in 2007.

Now Canberra and Nauru have agreed to re-open one of the two camps on the island and this could happen within a month.

Many detainees developed mental illnesses during the camps' previous incarnation but Nauru's foreign minister, Dr Kieren Keke, says it remains the highest priority for the government that the asylum seekers are well looked after.

"In that we believe we can provide an excellent facility and a great environment for them. Despite that there is always going to be psychological stress due to the uncertainty of the process and the situation that they are in. And as I said that is going to be whether they are in Nauru or being processed in mainland Australia or any other country."

Dr Kieren Keke.