Eleven more children awaiting high-level medical treatment on Nauru were transferred to Australia, as the ‘Kids Off Nauru’ movement gathered momentum. However, the Morrison Government challenged the Federal Court's ability to order humanitarian evacuations, throwing into doubt further urgent court hearings to decide if dangerously ill refugee children should be flown to Australia. Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton revealed that a further 13 refugee children on Nauru are with parents deemed national security risks by the US, raising concerns the children and their families would not be accepted by Australia or New Zealand.
The Labor Party said it would support the Government’s 'lifetime ban' bill on people held in offshore detention coming to Australia, if all children and their families on Nauru were transferred to New Zealand. Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected the compromise, saying he would not ‘horsetrade’ on border protection. Meanwhile, Liberal Party MP Julia Banks, crossbenchers Cathy McGowan and Rebekha Sharkie, and likely new Member for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps urged the Government to find a solution to the crisis.
A former Home Affairs officer who resigned from his job in the refugee processing area so that he could speak freely called on all federal parliamentarians to put an end to Australia's offshore system, arguing that its reliance on boat turn-backs makes it meaningless. A new data release about Australia’s maritime border enforcement program revealed 33 boats were stopped since the start of the Abbott Government, while 78 smuggling operations were stopped before they ever boarded vessels.
Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court dismissed on a technicality a case brought by Manus Island detainees asserting their human rights. The lawyer representing the more than 730 refugee and asylum seeker men vowed to keep fighting for compensation.
Australia imposed sanctions and travel bans on five Myanmar military generals accused of leading violent human rights violations on the country's Rohingya people during last year’s crisis.