Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

On 9th anniversary of 'Offshore Processing' UNHCR renews call for policy to end

Press releases

On 9th anniversary of 'Offshore Processing' UNHCR renews call for policy to end

This statement may be attributed to Adrian Edwards, UNHCR Representative for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, in Canberra.
19 July 2022

Today, 19th July 2022 marks nine years since Australia announced that people arriving by boat and seeking asylum were to be transferred to Papua New Guinea, and later Nauru, and then barred from ever settling in Australia.

On this occasion, UNHCR renews its long-standing appeal to the Australian Government to end its policy of sending refugees and asylum seekers offshore. Countless lives have been damaged or destroyed over the past nine years through this policy and by the enforcement of despair that has characterised its application. Maintaining its existence is no answer for anyone.

On 16 June, UNHCR reported that the number of people globally who are forcibly displaced had exceeded 100 million for the first time. We also warned a few days after that of a growing shortage of resettlement places worldwide, with needs vastly outpacing supply. It is against this international context that UNHCR’s advice to governments worldwide is to do more, to refrain from externalization, and to work together to find durable solutions for all who are forced to flee by persecution, conflict or war.