Weekly media wrap - 5 April 2016

Immigration minister Peter Dutton announced that there are no longer any children in immigration detention in Australia. Around 65 children remain on Nauru. According to Guardian Australia the government has reclassified sections of detentions centres to support this claim. The number of children in detention peaked in 2013 at over 2000.

At least 196 of the 267 refugees at the centre of the ‘Let Them Stay’ campaign are now in community detention, according to advocates. Refugees that remain in community detention may still be transferred to offshore detention, but must be given at least 72 hours’ notice.

‘The Journey’, a film commissioned by the Australian government depicting asylum seekers making a dangerous journey across the Indian Ocean to Australia, screened in Afghanistan this week. Put Out Pictures, the film’s production company state the aim of the film is “to educate and inform audiences in source countries about the futility of investing in people smugglers, the perils of the trip, and the hardline policies that await them if they do reach Australian waters”.

UNHCR’s Andrew Harper criticised Australia’s selection of Syrian asylum seekers. ABC program 7.30 revealed that the applications of 1,400 Syrian refugees referred to Australia by the UN have not had their cases processed. Only after their application has been rejected are they able to be referred to another country. Minister Peter Dutton told UNHCR that the main delay in processing was due to rigorous background checks, especially important given the number of fake Syrian passports currently circulating in Europe.

At a UNHCR meeting in Geneva, member states committed to modest increases in the number of refugees they are prepared to resettle, bringing the total to 185,000 worldwide. Minister Dutton announced Australia would contribute a further $8.5m to the UNHCR.