The Australian Government’s offshore detention regime edged closer to collapse today as Wilson Security committed not to retender for any further offshore detention services when its current contract expires in 2017. The private security company has provided security services for Australia's offshore detention centres (ODCs) in Nauru and on Manus Island since 2012.
The Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Advocacy, Rachel Ball, said that the move is the latest signal that the private sector is unwilling to prop up the Australian Government’s abusive immigration detention centres.
“The private sector is turning away from business in abuse. The legal, financial and reputational risks are clearly unsustainable,” said Ms Ball.
Wilson Security’s announcement comes after Ferrovial, the Spanish multinational that runs the camps on Nauru and Manus, also committed not to retender when its current contract expires.
Ms Ball said that while Wilson Security’s commitment not to tender for work beyond the current contract is welcome, it is not sufficient. The offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island continue to be the sites of horrific and ongoing violations, including illegal detention, sexual assault and child abuse. People, including children and pregnant women, are still being warehoused in intolerable conditions.
“This announcement does not let Wilson Security off the hook. The people inside the camps can’t wait until October 2017. Every day that Wilson remains in the camps is a day more of complicity in gross human rights abuses” said Ms Ball. “The only viable way forward is for the camps to shut and for the Australian Government to bring those people to safety now.”
For further comments or queries please contact:
Rachel Ball, Director of Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre, 0434 045 919
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519