The United Nations has called on the Australian government to repatriate all of the people it detains on Nauru and Manus Island to Australia.
The recommendation was made in Geneva this week by a committee considering Australia's compliance with the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The committee said it was alarmed by the punitive approach taken by Australia towards asylum seekers arriving by boat without a valid visa.
It noted reports on the harsh conditions prevailing in Australia's offshore detention centres, including acute isolation, overcrowding, allegations of sexual abuse by service providers, as well as reports of repeated incidence of suicide and self-harm among asylum seekers.
The committee reiterated that Australia continues to be accountable for the treatment of about 1500 asylum seekers in its offshore detention centres.
It called on Australia to halt its policy of off-shore processing of asylum claims.