In the federal government’s post-election re-shuffle, the department of home affairs, led by Peter Dutton, regained responsibility for refugee settlement services and migrant adult education. Since 2013 these functions have been performed by the departments of social services and education. Refugee support groups criticised the move.
A boat carrying 20 Sri Lankan asylum seekers was intercepted on its way to Australia. The group of Sri Lankans, which included at least one baby, was returned to Colombo following the rejection of their asylum claims. The boat had left Sri Lanka in the first week of May, following the country’s Easter bombing attacks.
The US attorney responsible for bringing charges against two Rwandan men, Gregoire Nyaminani and Leonidas Bimenyimana, stated that the United States had been ‘certain’ the two were members of a Hutu terror group. The men were recently re-settled in Australia as part of the federal government’s deal with the US, a decision that has been criticised by immigration experts and lawyers.
In international news, an internal UN document revealed that more than half the refugees currently held in Libyan detention centres are at risk due to the deteriorating security situation in and around Tripoli. The UNHCR called for all refugees to be evacuated from the detention centres.