Nauru Justice Minister David Adeang criticised the Australian and New Zealand media over coverage of asylum seekers and offshore processing on the island, accusing media outlets of attempting to influence domestic politics. This criticism came following Nauru’s national elections, which re-elected President Baron Waqa’s government.
Two asylum seekers, who have been in Port Moresby for medical treatment, were threatened at gunpoint in a motel that houses refugees and asylum seekers. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed the incident and stated that the two asylum seekers would return to the Manus Island detention facilities following completion of treatment.
The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, has urged the re-elected Coalition government to commit to the removal of children from offshore detention in Nauru by the end of 2016 calendar year. UNICEF Australia’s Nicole Breeze stated that while Nauru has made improvements to ensuring children’s safety and welfare, the island nation was not suitable for resettlement of refugee children.
Meanwhile, in response to the migration crisis, European officials have proposed the creation of a new ‘semi-standardised’ system to provide greater consistency in the treatment of asylum seekers across Europe, to discourage asylum seekers passing through multiple countries before settling and to reduce incentives for irregular migration. The proposal has been met with criticism from refugee advocates, such as Amnesty International, who are concerned that it would lead to fewer refugees being given sanctuary in Europe.
The numbers of people seeking asylum in Germany has fallen to around 220,000 in early 2016 in comparison to approximately 500,000 in late 2015. Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière indicated that the European Union’s deal with Turkey to manage the flow of refugees in Europe had already made an impact.