The term Pacific Solution (English: "Pacific Solution"; also in the sense of "silent solution") was introduced by the Australian government around John Howard in 2001 during the Tampa affair and after a temporary suspension by the government around Julia Gillard reintroduced in August 2012. He is put in contact with the internment camps also known as "detention camps" . These camps are located on small island states in the Pacific Ocean . The purpose of the camps is to provide for asylum seekers there instead of bringing them to mainland Australia, where they could have applied for asylum.
The consequence of this policy was the introduction of immigration detention . This type of detention is unique to Australia.
First phase 2001-2008
The internment camp Manus Regional Processing Center was established on the island of Manus of Papua New Guinea and the Nauru Regional Processing Center in the island state of Nauru . Australia bears the costs of these camps.
Australia has received a lot of criticism from several non-governmental organizations for setting up these camps. It has been criticized for not complying with international obligations in Australia. It was also criticized that asylum seekers were accommodated on the island of Manus even before the camps were completed.
By March 2004, 1,229 asylum applications had been processed on Nauru. 276 asylum seekers were allowed to stay. In June 2006, a contract signed in November 2005 went public, allowing Australia to continue sending asylum seekers to the Nauruan camps; In return, the nearly bankrupt Nauru is to receive 29 million US dollars in development aid.
With Howard's defeat by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was elected in his place, in November 2007, the remaining camp in Nauru was closed at the beginning of 2008, which meant the temporary end of the Pacific solution.
Second phase since 2012
After the number of refugees who reached Australia by sea rose sharply in the first half of 2012, the Australian government again held talks with Nauru and Papua New Guinea about the reopening of the reception camps from August 2012. The costs for four years should amount to 2 billion Australian dollars for Nauru and 900 million dollars for Papua New Guinea, which will be borne by Australia. On August 16, 2012, the Australian Parliament approved the bill, allowing the Pacific solution to be reintroduced. In the same month the Nauru Detention Center reopened.
Despite these measures, the number of arriving refugees initially continued to rise. In July 2013 the Australian government under Kevin Rudd tightened the asylum procedure and incoming refugees were brought to Papua New Guinea . In the event of recognition, they will then be settled there and no longer receive a right of residence in Australia.
In the first half of 2014, the Pacific asylum policy reduced the number of boat refugees to zero. The Australian government offers the refugees in the reception camps on Manus and Nauru up to 10,000 Australian dollars for a voluntary, orderly return to their countries of origin. Australia's total spending on refugee accommodation on Nauru in 2015 was $ 314 million, equivalent to $ 350,000 for each refugee.
On November 13, 2016, the Australian government announced a refugee agreement with the US. Some aspects of the terms of the agreement are known in the media. Some refugees should therefore travel from Manus and Naura to the USA and be accepted there. Families, women and children from the Nauru Detention Center should have priority. At the beginning of 2017, this refugee agreement, which was concluded by the United States under the Obama's administration, was criticized by the newly assumed US President Trump .
- Parliament of Australia: Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976
- Radio Australia: Australian parliament to vote on Pacific Solution of August 14, 2012 (accessed April 6, 2013).
- Human Rights Watch: Australia: 'Pacific Solution' Redux, August 17, 2012 (accessed April 6, 2013)
- BBC News: Australia PM Kevin Rudd defends PNG asylum deal, July 22, 2013 (accessed July 22, 2013).
- The Raw Story: Australia offers asylum-seekers $ 10,000 to return home , June 21, 2014, accessed June 24, 2014
- Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru , Amnesty International, August 2, 2016
- Australia's deal to resettle refugees in the US: what we know so far. The Guardian, November 13, 2016, accessed February 3, 2017 .
- Trump rages at 'dumb deal' with Australia over refugee resettlement - as it happened. The Guardian, February 3, 2017, accessed February 3, 2017 .