4 Feb 2014

Australian Human Rights Commission president barred from visiting Nauru

4:27 pm on 4 February 2014

The President of Australia's Human Rights Commission says she has been barred from entering Nauru to visit children detained in Canberra's asylum seeker camps.

The Commission has launched an inquiry into the impact of detention on the health, well-being and development of children in the camps.

But Professor Gillian Triggs says her jurisdiction doesn't extend to other countries, which is the reason Australia's immigration minister, Scott Morrison, has given for not letting her go to Nauru to investigate.

"I should say that I nonetheless have the jurisdiction to consider complaints from families and from the children on those islands and, similarly, I have the power to inquire into why some children are being transferred to Nauru and others are not. So, I think we should get some accurate, hopefully balanced information as to what's happening with these children."

Gillian Triggs has also expressed frustration at the level of cooperation from the Department of Immigration in handing over information on things like self harm and mental illness.