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Update from Nauru

April 20, 2005

For more than three years, asylum-seekers who tried to enter Australia have been detained on Nauru, where UNHCR determines their refugee status in the highest profile example of UNHCR RSD work involving a western state.

Human Rights Watch raised concerns both about the Australian policy and about the fairness of UNHCR’s RSD procedures in a report published in 2002.

This week, UNHCR called on Australia to find a solution for 54 asylum-seekers remaining in Nauru who were rejected by UNHCR in its own RSD procedures. According to news media reports, a UNHCR spokesman said, “I think there’s a responsibility taken on by the Australian Government to find solutions for these people.”

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