UN criticizes Australian illegal immigrant detention policy

[JURIST] The UN Refugee Agency [official website] has criticized Australia [JURIST news archive] for its strict policy of detaining illegal immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in comments before an Australian parliamentary inquiry. David Wright, a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that detention of asylum seekers and refugees is inherently undesirable and should only be used while authorities checked identities, where travel and identification papers had been lost or destroyed, or to protect public security. Australia has a tough immigration detention [official website] policy, though some changes were introduced [JURIST report] in July. Illegal immigrants and asylum seekers can spend years at remote detention camps while their applications for granting refugee status are assessed. Reuters has more.

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