19 Sep 2012

Nauru asylum seeker camp not yet able to take women

3:45 pm on 19 September 2012

The Government of Nauru says women and children can not be housed in its processing centre for asylum seekers until the accommodation provided is more than a tent city.

Following an agreement with Australia, Nauru is again accepting asylum seekers and two groups of men have arrived since Friday.

A spokesperson for the Nauru Government, Rod Henshaw, says the Australian Government wants women and children to be included in the arrivals in the near future.

However he says more comfortable accommodation must be completed first, for the men currently in the tent city.

He says arrangements must then be made that allow different nationalities to live apart, and single men to live separately to women and children.

"That's a natural thing I guess. There are some certain nationalities that don't get on with other nationalities and in order to maintain some sort of peaceful coexistence between the two obviously segregation is the answer."

Rod Henshaw says it is important that the accommodation meets United Nations' standards, and 160 defence force personnel from Australia are working frantically on restoring existing cabins.