27 Mar 2013

Boost in mood among aslum seekers on Nauru says government

2:41 pm on 27 March 2013

The Nauru government says there's been an upswing in mood at Australia's asylum seeker camp on the island after officials started processing claims last week.

A team from Australia began work a week ago to assess the 400 men's claims for refugee status.

The asylum seekers have staged hunger strikes and lip stitching protests at the camp over Canberra's offshore processing policy.

A Nauru government spokesman, Rod Henshaw, says the mood has changed significantly in the last week.

"There's been a marked downturn in self-harm, voluntary starvations and the like and I think this has provided a psychological boost because at least they can see something is happening and it's happening in a timely fashion."