Chasing Asylum: Australia's Offshore Detention Centres

Quick facts

  • As of May 31, 2017, there were 1,186 refugees in detention on Nauru and Manus Island, 43 of them are children.
  • The asylum seekers spend an average of 443 days in immigration detention.
  • Six refugees on Nauru volunteered to be resettled in Cambodia, at a cost of 55 million Australian dollars – three of them have since returned to their country of origin.

Source: Asylum Insight

No asylum seeker arriving in Australia by boat will ever be settled in the country. With this harsh policy, Australia’s government has stemmed the flow of hopeful asylum seekers reaching its shores.

Anyone picked up making the treacherous journey across the Indian Ocean is sent to Australia’s offshore detention camps on the remote tropical islands of Manus and Nauru.

Once there, men, women and children are held in indefinite detention, away from media scrutiny.

Featuring never-seen-before footage of appalling living conditions and shocking testimonies from detainees and whistle-blowers who worked in the camps, Chasing Asylum exposes the effect of Australia’s brutal policy for those seeking a safer home.

“I’ve been making films for more than 20 years and this is the hardest film I have ever made,” filmmaker Eva Orner told Al Jazeera. 

“Chasing Asylum is a film about places you are not allowed to go to and people you are not allowed to talk to. And halfway through the making of the film, it became a criminal act with a prison sentence of up to two years for people working with asylum seekers to speak out about what was happening.” 

Asylum seekers in a tent at the Nauru offshore detention centre. The Australian government has received widespread condemnation for the appaling living conditions in its Manus and Nauru ‘processing centres’ [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Source: Al Jazeera