23 Nov 2012

Amnesty will push for end to Nauru camp in meetings next week with members of Australian government

3:25 pm on 23 November 2012

An Amnesty International Australia researcher says the Australian run detention camp for asylum seekers on Nauru is a recipe for disaster.

Alex Pagliaro says the 387 people sent there by Canberra to deter people seeking refugee status from arriving by boat are crammed into leaky tents in a stiflingly hot environment.

She says their mental and physical health is poor and with continuing uncertainty over their future, they are slowly being driven to desperate acts.

Ms Pagliaro says next week they will be meeting with members of the government and will push for them to reconsider the policy.

"We have a series of recommendations. Obviously the first is that the policy be ended altogether. It is clear that there is no other reason for people being sent to Nauru except as punishment, and given that it is just unjustifiable. And also illegal under international law. So we do urge them to rethink what is an incredibly expensive policy in terms of human lives and financially."

Amnesty International Australia's Alex Pagliaro.

She says if it does open they want better mental health assessments, proper accommodation facilities and cultural awareness training for the staff.