Four refugees are the first to accept the Australian government’s Cambodian resettlement offer. The ‘Cambodia deal’ continues to face criticism from human rights groups because of the ‘poor quality’ of the country’s medical and health services, and the risks of crime.
An annual poll on attitudes towards national identity, conducted by the Australian National University, found that 65% of Australians support stronger measures to exclude 'illegal immigrants'.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee found that Australia was in breach of the international convention on civil and political rights (ICCPR) after deporting an Iranian citizen on undisclosed national security grounds.
The Lowy Institute for International Policy released a research paper arguing that the 1951 Refugee Convention needs to be reinterpreted, with Australia well-placed to lead the effort. The report stated that 'reform should include greater accountability for those states that cause displacement', arguing that governments currently place too much emphasis on symptoms, rather than causes.
Nauruan opposition MP Mathew Batsiua reported that access to Facebook and other social media sites had been blocked in Nauru 'under the guise of a crackdown on online pornography'. Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul commented that for many asylum seekers and refugees on the island, Facebook is their primary connection to family and community. The Nauruan government denied actively blocking access to Facebook, but acknowledged that some social media sites may have been shut down as an indirect result of the pornography ban.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a report on migrant smuggling in Asia. Warning of a significant threat to the region, the report found that criminal smuggling groups generate $2 billion annually, and lead to an increasing number of deaths and human rights abuses.
Following the death of 800 asylum seekers in the Mediterranean, the United Kingdom withdrew support for future search and rescue operations, arguing that such operations encourage 'more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing… leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths'.