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28 Jan 2015 description

Sydney, Australia | AFP | Wednesday 1/28/2015 - 06:30 GMT

Australia's detention of 157 asylum-seekers at sea for weeks in June was legal, the nation's High Court found Wednesday in a win for the government's hardline immigration stance.

In a tight 4-3 decision, the court ruled the government was entitled to hold the group of Tamils from Sri Lanka on a customs ship with a view to return them to India -- where they had set out from.

The ruling means they are unable to seek compensation for their month-long detention.

15 Jan 2015 description

Work to resettle refugees within the community in Nauru will continue this year under a new agency, which has taken over the Australian Government contract from the international advocacy group, Save the Children.

Hundreds of people deemed to be refugees have been released from detention centres in Nauru since May last year.

Now, a consortium of Australian refugee settlement agencies - Connect Settlement Services - will help them adjust to life in the small Pacific nation.

31 Dec 2014 description

Tectonic Plates and Fault Lines

The region is home to extremes in elevation and the world's most active seismic and volcanic activity. Southwest of India, the Maldives has a maximum height of just 230cm, while far to the north, the Tibetan Plateau averages over 4,500m across its 2.5 million square kilometres and is home to all 14 of the world's peaks above 8,000 metres. The Himalaya were born 70 million years ago when the Arabian Plate collided with the Eurasian plate.

31 Dec 2014 description

Volcanic Explosivity in Asia-Pacific

This map shows the density of volcanic eruptions based on the explosivity index for each eruption and the time period of the eruption. Eruption information is spread to 100km beyond point source to indicate areas that could be affected by volcanic emissions or ground shaking.

31 Dec 2014 description

Earthquake Intensity Risk Zones

This map shows earthquake intensity zones in accordance with the 1956 version of the Modified Mercalli Scale (MM), describing the effects of an earthquake on the surface of the earth and integrating numerous parameters such as ground acceleration, duration of an earthquake, and subsoil effects. It also includes historical earthquake reports.

31 Dec 2014 description

Tropical Storm Risk Zones

This map was derived from the Munich Reinsurance Company's World Map of Natural Hazards and shows tropical storm intensity based on the five wind speeds of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

08 Dec 2014 description

Three schoolgirls have been attacked in their classroom at Nauru's high school in what the Refugee Action Coalition says is the latest attempt to intimidate refugees.

Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International

08 Dec 2014 description

As President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, I welcome the news that the Minister for Immigration has agreed to release all children and their families from detention before Christmas.

Having seen first-hand the damage that detention does to children, I am very eager to find out where they will end up. Their release marks an important moment at which it is acknowledged that stopping the boats is not contingent on detaining children.

03 Dec 2014 description

By Steven Schubert and Nadia Daly

Video: A pregnant woman spotted at a Darwin detention centre (ABC News)

Two heavily pregnant women who had refused to leave a bus for more than three days were forcibly removed by Darwin detention centre staff, the ABC has learned.

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said he had spoken to the women and their families inside the detention centre.

01 Dec 2014 description


Mixed ows of urban asylum-seekers and migrants from South-West Asia, the Middle East and Africa continue to be the main protection feature in the subregion.

The central challenge for UNHCR is to assist States in shaping responses that balance concerns for border and migration control with the protection of asylumseekers’ rights.

24 Nov 2014 description

A Nauruan photojournalist, Clint Deidenang, says there is a significant minority opposed to the presence of Australia's asylum seekers on the island.

Read more on Radio New Zealand International

05 Nov 2014 description

This report emerges from a high-level expert roundtable on refugees and asylum seekers that was held at Parliament House, Canberra, on 11 July 2014 under the auspices of Australia21, the Centre for Policy Development and the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. These organisations have a shared interest in Australian policy on this issue. In early 2014, a steering group from the three organisations commissioned a discussion paper entitled Beyond Operation Sovereign Borders: A Long-Term Asylum Policy for Australia.

28 Oct 2014 description

(Suva, 28 October 2014): Humanitarians from across the Pacific have gathered in Suva today to strengthen disaster response and coordination in the region.

More than 120 participants are attending the 7th Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHT) Regional Meeting from 28-30 October 2014. The annual meeting is organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and brings together over 100 humanitarian partners in the region.

21 Oct 2014 description

Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere


13 Oct 2014 description

Continuous protests in the Nauru refugee detention camp peaked with up to 600 people breaking out of the family compound just after midnight on October 10.

An asylum seeker told Sydney’s Refugee Action Coalition (RAC): “Day to day, night to night, the situation on Nauru is getting more serious for us.”

The protests have been accompanied by self-harm and suicide attempts, including one person hanging themselves, a 15-year-old girl swallowing detergent, others ingesting washing powder, lip-stitching and a hunger strike.

03 Oct 2014 description

10/03/2014 02:22 GMT

SYDNEY, October 3, 2014 (AFP) - Australia has ordered an inquiry into claims of sexual misconduct by staff at a refugee camp in Nauru, including whether the reports were fabricated by aid workers, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said Friday.

Under Canberra's hardline immigration policy, asylum-seekers who arrive on people-smuggling boats are denied resettlement in Australia and sent to camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

26 Sep 2014 description

UNHCR is deeply concerned at the precedent set by today’s agreement between Australia and Cambodia to relocate refugees to Cambodia from Nauru.

22 Sep 2014 description

Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacifc Region

Northern Hemisphere


As of 3 September 2014 a total of 134 cases of dengue reported in Japan. Local transmision of dengue:

27 Aug 2014 description

By Josh Bavas

The Commonwealth Ombudsman is investigating concerns about sub-standard conditions and treatment at Australia's immigration detention centre on Nauru.

The investigation comes amid a growing number of complaints lodged by detainees and staff at the remote Pacific island centre.

Hania, a 32-year-old Christian Iranian, was in the Nauru detention centre for 10 months after she tried to catch a boat from Indonesia to Australia last year.

26 Aug 2014 description

Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere


In the last past weeks, Malaysia has experienced an increase in new dengue cases. As of 16 August:

  • Cumulative number of reported cases: 62,860

  • Cumulative number of deaths reported: 126


    The Philippines are experiencing a lower level of Dengue than in 2013. As of 2 August (Table 1):

  • Cumulative number of reported cases: 41,973