JRS Australia Welcomes Bill to Bring to Australia People from Detention in Nauru and PNG

27 February 2023

JRS Australia made a submission welcoming the Migration Amendment (Evacuation to Safety) Bill 2023, which will compel the Australian government to bring to Australia people in detention in Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

In our submission, JRS Australia strongly supported the Bill’s mandate to transfer people from Nauru and PNG to Australia due to the ample evidence of severe and enduring harm to children and adults from their devastating experiences in offshore detention contexts and their experience of protracted uncertainty as to their futures.

We also strongly support the Bill’s provision that people transferred from PNG and Nauru to Australia are not returned to an ‘offshore processing country’ under s 198AD of the Migration Act 1958. Based on our experience with people affected by detention in Nauru and PNG, the consequences of return would be utterly devastating for them.

We also welcome the rigorous Ministerial reporting provisions set out in the Bill as an important mechanism for ensuring accountability and transparency, particularly in light of the extreme limitations on public accountability in this area of policy to date.

Further to our strong support for the bill, JRS Australia made a number of observation, which you can read in the full text of our submission here.