Weekly media wrap - 29 February 2016

The mother of asylum seeker baby Asha was accused of intentionally burning her baby in order to facilitate their transfer to Australia for medical treatment. Queensland Police confirmed that they had completed an investigation into the matter and dismissed the accusations. Meanwhile, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, said that while the family had been released into community detention for now, they would eventually be returned to Nauru.

In a first for asylum seekers detained on Nauru or Manus Island, two refugees who spent three years living on Nauru, including two years in detention, have been relocated to Canada to be reunited with their family.

Following a meeting last week between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, Peter Dutton this week rejected an offer from New Zealand to resettle 150 refugees now on Nauru, on the basis that it would provide an incentive to asylum seekers to travel to Australia by boat. Mr Dutton also confirmed that Australian border protection authorities recently turned an asylum seeker boat back to Sri Lanka.

Amnesty International released its annual report. Highlighting the ‘harsh conditions’ faced by millions of asylum seekers across the Asia-Pacific region, the report stated that Australia’s asylum seeker policies violated international law by ‘forcibly returning people to countries where they would face a real risk of serious violations’.

The UNHCR issued a statement saying that on average two children have drowned every day trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea since September 2015. The news comes as countries across Europe adopt more restrictive policies, including border closures.