Nauru commences open centre arrangements
The Government of Nauru has commenced
its Open Centre arrangement today (25 Feb) which allows a select
number of asylum seekers from the Regional Processing Centre (RPC)
access across the community for certain hours of the day.
Initially this access will be for three days a week, from 9am to
Twenty asylum seekers will be involved with the new program today
and another 40 on Saturday and 60 on Monday. The number of asylum
seekers participating each week will be determined as the weeks
Women and children below the age of four are the first to take
part in today's Open Centre program.
The idea of Open Centre came about following discussions about the
effects of extended time spent in the camps. Hence, the Government
of Nauru will trial the Open Centre in the hopes it will ease some
of the tension and frustration and prepare the asylum seekers for a
future in the Nauru community if they are to be deemed genuine
refugees through the status determination process.
Several community leaders' meetings with the Government led by
Minister for Justice Hon David Adeang have been conducted to
introduce the Open Centre and to gauge community leaders' thoughts
and recommendations about the arrangements.
Prior to participating in Open Centre, all asylum seekers will
have been given training and education about Nauruan culture,
general behaviour and conduct, and boundaries around private homes
as well as restricted areas such as the airport runway, fuel farm
and the power station.
All participants of the Open Centre will have agreed to and signed
an Open Centre Code of Conduct agreeing to their responsibilities
and conduct outside camp.
Additional community liaison officers are stationed in each
district to cater for the Open Centre.
Approximately 500 refugees are already living in the
The total number of asylum seekers involved in the program in
total will be determined soon by the Minister of Justice in
consultation with community leaders and government.