2 Oct 2014

Allegations in Nauru camp ignored - Rintoul

7:10 am on 2 October 2014

The Australian-based Refugee Action Coalition says allegations of harrassment and sexual exploitation seem to be treated by authorities as a fact of life in Nauru detention camp.

Asylum seekers have made allegations of sexual abuse of women and children and threats of rape by guards working in the Australia detention centre on Nauru.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has written to the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison asking for an independent investigation into the allegations.

Ian Rintoul agrees there needs to be an independent investigation, and independent oversight of the detention centre as a whole.

He says he first heard allegations of sexual exploitation some months ago from people transferred to Australia for medical reasons.

"There were complaints made, and in some cases statements given to local and to federal police about the situation on Nauru and the fact that there were those allegations of harrassment and sexual explotiation. But they're treated as if it's a fact of life on Nauru, and that's something else that the minister seems to have turned a blind eye to."

Ian Rintoul says when basic needs are not being met, vulnerable people are left even more vulnerable to that kind of exploitation.