Human rights issues raised by the transfer of asylum seekers to third countries

Refugees Human rights Right of asylum Australia Asia

This report examines steps taken recently by the Australian Government to transfer asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat to third countries for the processing of their claims for protection.

This paper discusses a number of the Commission’s concerns about third country processing of asylum seekers’ claims for protection, and outlines the human rights issues that arise within each area of concern. These areas of concern include:

  • the differential treatment of asylum seekers based on their mode of arrival
  • the detention of asylum seekers who are liable for transfer to a third country
  • pre- and post-transfer risk and vulnerability assessment procedures
  • the detention of asylum seekers in third countries
  • refugee status determination processes on Nauru
  • the potential for family separation
  • the situation of unaccompanied children
  • conditions on Nauru
  • the potential duration of stay in a third country.
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