After 8 years of failed and inhumane policy Australia signs MOU to establish ‘enduring’ offshore processing on Nauru

Media Release
24 September 2021

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews announced today that the Morrison Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the President of the Republic of Nauru, Lionel Aingimea, which seeks “an enduring regional processing capability in Nauru.”

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is shocked by the Morrison Government’s announcement, as the trauma and violence experienced by the people seeking asylum and refugees held on Nauru over the previous eight years have clearly shown it is a failed and dangerous policy.

There are currently around 108 people seeking asylum and refugees held on Nauru and 125 in Papua New Guinea, many of whom have been there for over eight years.

The Morrison Government is providing entirely insufficient care and support to people seeking asylum and refugees in offshore processing, which is only exacerbated by the threat that COVID-19 poses.

The Morrison Government needs to immediately present a resettlement plan not just to the over 200 people seeking asylum in offshore processing but also to the 87 people in onshore detention and the thousands on temporary visas.

Myo Win, human rights activist, Rohingyan and refugee detained on Christmas Island and Nauru, released in March 2021, said: “Everyone on Nauru are just so tired, separated from family, having politics played with their lives, it just makes me so upset. I am out now and I still cannot live my life on a bridging visa and in lockdown, but it is ten times better than Nauru.”

“They should not be extending anything, they should be stopping offshore processing now. I am really worried about everyone on Nauru right now, they need to be released.”

Jana Favero, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at ASRC, said: “An ‘enduring regional processing capability’ in Nauru means: Enduring suffering, enduring family separation, enduring uncertainty, enduring harm and Australia’s enduring shame.”

“This MOU is only extending a failed system, the Morrison Government must give the men, women and children impacted by the brutality of offshore processing a safe and permanent home. Prolonging the failure of offshore processing on Nauru and PNG is not only wrong and inhumane but dangerous.”


Media contact: Sam Brennan 0428 973 324 or

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