Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Australia’s ‘Pacific Solution’: issues for the Pacific Islands

By Aulden Warbrooke

In 2013, the Rudd Labor Government introduced a new version of the ‘Pacific Solution’ to Australia’s ‘problem’ with increasing numbers of asylum-seekers arriving by boat. The new version not only included the transfer of asylum-seekers to Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, it crucially involved the resettlement in these Pacific Island countries of those found to be refugees and introduces long-term detention for those who are not successful and who do not decide to return to their original countries. Following the 2013 election, the Abbott Coalition Government fully embraced the new ‘Pacific Solution’. This deeper level of incorporation of Papua New Guinea and Nauru in Australia’s asylum-seeker policy raises a range of issues not only for these two Pacific Island countries but also for the broader Pacific islands region whose name is invoked in the ‘Pacific Solution’.

 

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