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Parliamentary questions
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12 July 2016
E-005661-16
Question for written answer E-005661-16
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Javier Nart (ALDE) , Renate Weber (ALDE) , María Teresa Giménez Barbat (ALDE) , Carolina Punset (ALDE) , Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE) , Hilde Vautmans (ALDE) , Jozo Radoš (ALDE) , Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) , Louis Michel (ALDE) , Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea (ALDE) , Filiz Hyusmenova (ALDE)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Australian immigration detention centres on Manus and Nauru islands
 Answer in writing 

Australian immigration detention facilities are currently used to detain people under Australia's policy of mandatory immigration detention. When asylum-seekers reach Australia, they are sent to an offshore processing centre, such as on Manus Island (in Papua New Guinean territory) and Nauru, currently operated by private companies under contract from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Under the Migration Act 1958, people arriving in this manner are classed as unlawful non-citizens and are subject to mandatory detention. However, in 1954 the Australian Government ratified the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled in April 2016 that restricting the movement of asylum-seekers who have committed no crime was unconstitutional, yet 905 men remain in illegal detention under cramped and poor hygienic conditions.

Moreover, the Australian Government passed legislation in 2015 making it illegal for employees to disclose information to the media, and very few journalists have had access to the camps.

Taking into consideration the statements on human rights contained in the 2008 EU-Australia Partnership Framework, and before the start of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement, how does the Commission plan to address these gross human rights violations in its dialogue with the Australian authorities?

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