Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected a plea from the Australian Medical Association President, Dr Tony Bartone, to bring families and children on Nauru to Australia. Dr Bartone said the medical profession was concerned about the health and welfare of refugees and people seeking asylum on both Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie read out a list of the severe medical conditions of children on Nauru who were evacuated to Australia on medical grounds, by order of the federal court. The list was read during debate of a motion of no confidence against Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, in response to a Senate committee finding he had misled parliament.
A Queensland coroner will investigate the adequacy of health and medical evacuation services on Nauru during an inquest into the death of Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali, who set himself on fire on Nauru in 2016.
Sir Frank Lowy, a self-described ‘boat person’, criticised Australian Government leadership regarding refugees and people seeking asylum and rejected calls to cut immigration. Meanwhile, the City of Sydney joined 10 other councils around Australia in passing a motion supporting expansion of the community sponsorship model of refugee entry. Furthermore, New Zealand raised its refugee quota from 1000 to 1500, to begin in July 2020. However, the United States reduced its cap on refugee entry from 45,000 in 2018 to 30,000 in 2019, bringing it to its lowest level since the program began in 1980.
The New York Times reported that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a trophy on display in his office in the shape of a fishing boat that reads ‘I stopped these’. Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton shared his belief that immigration detainees should not have access to mobile phones.
The final version of a UN report investigating potential violations conducted against the Rohingya in Myanmar was presented to the UN Human Rights Council. It found military actions were disproportionate to security risks and showed genocidal intent. Australia is considering options in response, including targeted sanctions. Also at the UN Human Rights Commission, Australia has received criticism from delegates on offshore detention policies.
Italy and Austria expressed support for a plan to process people seeking asylum on ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The proposal is considered an alternative to the regional disembarkation platform concept. A similar proposal in 2016 was not accepted by the European Commission due to concerns over legality. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has suggested that Spain build a wall across the Sahara to slow migration from Africa to Europe.