Weekly media wrap 20 July 2015

Protests against the Border Force Act continued this week. In Sydney, doctors and other health professionals rallied on the steps of the Town Hall to protest against the secrecy provisions contained in the Act.

Information released by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to a Senate inquiry shows that asylum seekers are being held in Australian detention centres alongside non-asylum seeker detainees who have been convicted of serious criminal offences. Refugee advocates called for such detainees to be separated from those without convictions.

A report into conditions at the Manus Island detention centre released by Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Law Centre said that "Australia's experiment in offshore detention has been a disaster." The report found that since the former Labor government announced that asylum seekers who arrived by boat would be resettled in Papua New Guinea after refugee status assessment on Manus Island in 2013, no asylum seekers have been resettled. However, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that Papua New Guinea is "on track" to resettle asylum seekers whose refugee status has been confirmed.

UNHCR reported that over 10,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Yemen since March 2015. A representative from UNHCR Yemen said that many of these asylum seekers "are tricked into making the journey by people smugglers who tell them that the conflict is over and all is safe in Yemen."