18 Aug 2016

Calls for Australia to end offshore processing of asylum seekers

5:35 am on 18 August 2016

Hundreds of Australian academics are calling for an end to their Government's policy of processing asylum seekers offshore.

More than 18-hundred academics have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calling for a national summit on the refugee issue.

Their call comes after leaked reports were published last week detailing cases of child abuse and sexual assault in the detention centre on Nauru.

Swinburne University Human Rights Professor Linda Briskman said the Australian government's discrediting of the reports is totally unrealistic.

"The Minister sees a lot of the complaints that have been made as a way of people getting a visa to come to Australia."

"That's a rather shocking thing to say especially when we've seen self-immolations and other really devastating forms of harm," she said.

Linda Briskman said the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island must be closed immediately.

The call came before Papua New Guinea and Australia announced that the Manus Island centre would close, but no timeline had been given.

Last week, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights again reiterated its call for Australia and Nauru to quickly end the immigration detention of children.

Protest on Nauru

Protest on Nauru Photo: Refugee Action Coalition