More than 2,000 incidents, including sexual abuse, assault and attempted self-harm, were reported in about two years at an Australian detention centre for asylum seekers in Nauru, more than half involving children.
This is contained in a media report on Wednesday in Sydney on leaked documents published on the level of abuse at the centre on tiny Nauru.
It observed that the more than 2,000 leaked incident reports cover the period between August 2013 and October 2015.
The documents stressed that children accounted for less than 20 per cent of the roughly 500 detainees held on Nauru.
“There were 59 reports of assaults on children in the period, and seven reports of sexual assaults.
“Some of the reports alleged abuse by guards against children, while there other reports of sexual advances by unknown men,’’ it said.
It noted that the affected children bear the brunt of the trauma.
The document stated that closely protected camps, and Australia’s hard-line immigration policy against illegal boat arrivals, have been widely criticised by the United Nations and human rights groups.
It said that under Australia’s policy, asylum seekers intercepted at sea are sent to Nauru and another camp on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea, and told they would never be settled in Australia.
“The number of refugees and asylum seekers trying to reach Australia is tiny compared with Europe.
“The immigration has long been an emotive issue in Australia and the hard-line immigration has bipartisan political support,’’ it said.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Australia’s Department of Immigration said that government was seeking to confirm the reports.
“It’s important to note many of these incident reports reflect unconfirmed allegations.’’