Dengue Outbreak at Australian Detention Centre Sparks Fresh Concerns
April 17, 2014 2:06 PM EST
An outbreak of dengue fever at an Australian refugee detention centre in the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru sparked calls on Thursday for greater oversight at the facility, which has been criticised by rights groups and the United Nations.
Dengue Outbreak at Australian Detention Centre Sparks Fresh Concerns (Representational Image)
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's office said that medical officers at the centre had confirmed three cases of the potentially fatal tropical disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Two of those affected by the sickness are potential refugees awaiting processing, while the other was a member of staff working at the centre, they said.
"All three people have been isolated and are receiving appropriate treatment and are expected to make a full recovery," a spokeswoman for Morrison said in a statement.
But Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, immigration spokeswoman from the opposition Greens Party, said that outbreaks are inevitable in crowded camps like the one on Nauru and called for greater independent oversight of the overseas refugee detention system.
"The government can't control these types of outbreaks in the harsh detention camp environment. With seven families to a tent, it's impossible to keep children safe from the disease," she said in a statement.
Australia uses detention centres in Nauru and on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea to process would-be refugees sent there after trying to get to Australia, often in unsafe boats after paying people smugglers in Indonesia.
Canberra's tough stance on asylum seekers, including offshore processing and a blanket ban on people arriving by boat ever settling in Australia, has been criticised by the United Nations and other groups as illegal and inhumane.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in a November report said neither centre had a "fair and efficient system for assessing refugee claims" nor provided "safe and humane conditions of treatment in detention".
Nauru in particular has come under fire after President Baron Waqa earlier this year unilaterally sacked the nation's entire judiciary, one aspect of what critics have called a creeping authoritarianism there.
Critics say that Australia has been unusually silent about developments in Nauru in order to ensure that the camp, which is vital to its immigration policy, stays open.
In February, a riot at the detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea left at least one asylum seeker dead and 77 more injured.
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Full List Of Winners, Miley Cyrus ‘Wrecking Ball’ Bags Video Of The Year [PHOTOS]
- Top 5 Richest Tennis Athletes
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
- Kate Middleton First Official Solo Trip: Details For Malta Tour Revealed [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Fate of MH370, MH17 Trigger Mass Resignation of Crew in Malaysia Airlines
- ISIS $3 Million Daily Oil Revenues Fund Operations; Obama to Build International Coalition to Widen Assault
- British Cleric Accused of Urging James Foley Executioner; Predicted ISIS Will Fight in the West
- Amish Girls Abducted, Handcuffed And Used As Sex Slaves
- Asylum Seekers Demand Compensation From Australia for Neglect and Poor Healthcare
- Why Moto X is Not the Best Smartphone to Purchase Now?
- Nexus 6 Release Date Will Intro Android 5.0 aka Lemon Meringue Pie with Killer Specs & Features
- Hundreds of Men Rape Teen for Three Years
- Apple iPhone 6 Release Date Two Weeks to Go Starting at $800 with New Phosphorus HealthKit Chip
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs. LG G3 S (aka LG G3 Beat, LG G3 Mini) – Specs, Features And Price Showdown
- iPhone 6 Release Date Update: 4.7-Inch Model Scores 65.8% In Screen-To-Size Ratio; A Surprise Entry Scales Top Spot [List Attached]
- Bill Shorten Calls Tony Abbott 'Ineligible' To Lead Australia; Government Party-Room Leaks On Abbott'sTravel Entitlements