Australia aims to remove all asylum seeker children from Nauru within two months as concerns escalate about their deteriorating health after languishing on the tiny Pacific atoll nation for up to five years.
But cabinet ministers said on Thursday the government is maintaining its much-criticized policy of sending all asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat to immigration camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Refugee advocates said there were only 38 children remaining on Nauru by Thursday. Papua New Guinea has male-only facilities and all asylum seekers there are adults.
Australia’s top diplomat in Britain, High Commissioner George Brandis, told London radio LBC that the government expects all asylum seeking children to be moved from Nauru to Australia this year.