5 Apr 2013

Extra offshore detention camps no answer to Pacific asylum question: Amnesty

7:43 pm on 5 April 2013

Amnesty International says it makes no sense for Australia to build more offshore detention camps for asylum seekers when the two already established are failing in their purpose.

Last year, the Australian government resumed its policy of processing asylum seekers abroad in a move aimed at deterring boat people from trying to reach Australia.

In a speech to the Bali Process ministerial meeting this week Australia's immigration minister alluded to the possibility of camps similar to those reopened on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island being set up in other Pacific Island countries.

But Amnesty Australia's refugee campaigner, Alex Pagliaro says that would counter commonsense.

"You know, it is an unbelievably costly system to set these things up in small nations that have never done refugee processing before and I think that we have seen that it really achieves nothing. Even though we disagree with the government's motives for setting these up, we're seeing more boats than ever."