So-called refugees who seek to enter Australia via people trafficker networks are self-harming and filing false claims in an effort to cross the border, Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton said.
He was responding to a report into Australia’s tough migration regime that listed allegations of abuse, including assaults, sexual assaults, and self-harm between 2013 and 2015.
Human rights and refugee advocacy groups have seized on the documents as proof that the government is overseeing a “failed detention system”, but Mr. Dutton said many of the incidents were demonstrably false reports.
He said the allegations would be investigated by authorities, but ultimately “some people do have a motivation to make a false complaint”.
“I have been made aware of some incidents that have reported false allegations of sexual assault, because in the end, people have paid money to people smugglers and they want to come to our country,” he told 2GB Radio in Sydney.
“Some people have even gone to the extent of self-harming and people have self-immolated in an effort to get to Australia. Certainly some have made false allegations.”
Mr. Dutton also responded to what he called “hype” by saying that the centre at the core of the claims was on Nauru, not Australia.
At the same time Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull rejected calls from The Greens for a Royal Commission to be established to investigate the claims further.
Mr. Turnbull said the Government would assess the information that was now in the public domain.
“It will be carefully examined to see if there are complaints there or issues there that were not properly addressed,” he said.
Australia outsources the processing of asylum seekers who trying to reach Australia by boat to two privately run centres – one on the Pacific island of Nauru and another on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
The companies that run the facilities, security, and services at the centres are contractually required to report incidents of various kinds within specified time frames.
Breitbart London has previously reported on Australia’s tough migration regime which began under the previous prime minister Tony Abbott. The key plank in his policy was the refusal to resettle intending migrants in Australia while their claims for asylum were being processed.
Mr. Abbott acted after number of asylum seekers travelling to Australia by boat rose sharply in 2012 and early 2013 and scores of people died making the journey.
Under the policy, asylum seekers are intercepted before they make landfall by the Royal Australian Navy and sent away to be processed. The government has also adopted a policy of tow-backs, or turning boats around at sea and sending them back to their port of departure.
The last asylum seeker boat reported to arrive in Australia was a vessel of 157 people intercepted in July 2014 near Christmas Island.
In a speech in London last year, Mr. Abbott lashed out at the “misguided” immigration policies of European leaders, including that of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, insisting: “Unlike you, we now control our borders”.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: email@example.com