A significant number of athletes who went missing during the Commonwealth Games have sought asylum in Australia. Five athletes were granted bridging visas in Canberra while their claims for protection are assessed. Refugee advocates claimed they had helped many others lodge applications for protection; some estimated up to 100 people nationally could be seeking refugee status.
The Guardian Australia reported that the Department of Home Affairs is withdrawing income support and housing from up to 100 refugees and asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus Island who are in Australia for medical treatment. The group will receive a final departure bridging visa E, which includes the right to work but no financial assistance. Refugee advocates said the group was largely made up of family groups and elderly people with serious physical and mental health issues.
Amnesty International criticised the Australian Government for reducing critical health services on Manus Island. A report by the organisation labeled cuts to health care 'inexplicable' in an environment with one of the highest rates of mental illness in the world. Meanwhile, an Iranian refugee, Fatemah, and her 17-year-old son were returned to Nauru from Taiwan against medical advice. Fatemah and her son were transferred to Taiwan to receive critical heart surgery and treatment for severe mental illness respectively.
Bill Shorten said a future Labor government would not place time limits on offshore immigration detention, despite a draft party platform prepared for Labor's national conference in July calling for asylum seekers to not be held on Manus Island and Nauru longer than 90 days.
In international news, Greece’s parliament passed a bill to ease overcrowding on its island refugee camps – which currently hold more than double their capacity – and to make asylum procedures simpler and faster. Human rights groups criticised the bill for also shortening appeals processes.