11 Sep 2012

Canberra urged to make public selection process for Nauru

8:14 pm on 11 September 2012

The Refugee Action Coalition is calling on the Australian government to make public the criteria used to select asylum seekers for Nauru.

About 500 asylum seekers are expected to be housed on the island by the end of the month.

Australia's Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, says the first group will be transferred by plane towards the end of the week but he has refused to comment on who will make up the first transfer.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson, Ian Rintoul, says without criteria made public there can be no confidence asylum seekers are not being discriminated against.

"Are they being selected for particular punishment? Are they people who the government has already prejudged whether they're likely or not likely to be refugees on the basis of their ethnic background? Are they going to pick stateless people because they think there'll be less support for stateless people from communities already in Australia?"

Refugee Action Coalition spokesperson, Ian Rintoul.