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Global Journalist: Australia's Refugee "Islands of Despair"


Australia's continued detention of about 1,000 refugees and asylum-seekers on two remote Pacific islands has garnered international criticism as details emerge of alarming rates of attempted suicide and poor medical care.

Yet many Australians see the island detention centers as a necessary deterrent to keep the country from being overrun by a tide of migrant boats from Indonesia.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the conditions for the hundreds of migrants who have spent years in Australian detention on Nauru and Manus and the debate about their fate in Australia.

Joining the program:

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat, Sudanese refugee detained on Manus for six years
  • Ellie Shakiba, Iranian refugee detained on Nauru for five years
  • Lesleyanne Hawthorne, professor and researcher of migration issues at the University of Melbourne
  • Anna Neistat, senior director for research, Amnesty International

Assistant producers: Molly Jackson, Kyle Lahucik, Franziska Stadlmayer
Supervising producer: Rosemary Belson
Visual editor: Megan Smaltz

Jason left Global Journalist in 2019
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