Following the cancellation of a trip to Australia by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Francois Crépeau, more than 60 academics urged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to allow detention centre workers to speak to UN representatives without fear of prosecution under the Border Force Act.
A report by the International Detention Coalition found that the cost of detention per person per day in Australia is more than twice as expensive as in comparable countries in Europe and North America. The ABC’s 7.30 program reported allegations that two refugees were raped in Nauru, leaving one pregnant. A third woman, an Iranian asylum seeker, remains in a Brisbane hospital after she too was raped in Nauru.
Australia is seeking to gain a seat on the UN Human Rights Council between 2018–20. Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs warned that while Australia has a strong rights record, its treatment of asylum seekers could undermine its bid.
In Europe, UNHCR expects more than 1.4 million refugees to arrive in 2015-16. Currently there is a daily flow of 8000 refugees in to Europe, including through the new entry point of a remote Arctic border to Norway via Russia. Hungary’s Prime Minsiter Viktor Orban called on Australia to accept more refugees.