What has happened on Nauru and Manus since Australia began its most recent offshore processing regime in 2012?
This essential book provides a comprehensive and uncompromising overview of the first three years of offshore processing since it recommenced in 2012. It explains why offshore processing was re-established, what life is like for asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus, what asylum seekers, refugees and staff in the offshore detention centres have to say about what goes on there, and why the truth has been so hard to find. In doing so, it goes behind the rumours and allegations to reveal what is known – and what still is not known – about Australia’s offshore detention centres.
This book takes us inside Australia’s controversial offshore detention centres to which journalists or independent observers have seldom, if ever, been permitted access. Gleeson’s research is meticulous, forensic and unflinching. Her writing is calm and unemotional but it is all the more powerful for that. She has uncovered a vast amount of documentary and eyewitness evidence of the first three years of offshore processing that sheds new light not only on why and how this system was established, but also why the ‘system’ is so hard to penetrate and so complexly resistant to reform, change or dismantling.
Despite the vast array of investigative journalism on this topic in several media, well-documented lobbying by political and legal activists, and human rights groups, readers are astonished anew at how much we learn from this very important book about what life is like for the asylum seekers and refugees on Manus and Nauru, what asylum seekers, refugees and staff say about what goes on there.
Madeline Gleeson is a lawyer and Senior Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. She specialises in international human rights and refugee law, with a focus on regional refugee protection, the law of state responsibility, and offshore processing.
Madeline has extensive experience working with forcibly displaced people around the world, including work on statelessness, refugees, human trafficking, labour migration and land grabbing with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia, and with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru, won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, and has been nominated for a range of other prestigious prizes.