Amnesty International has issued a pre-emptive warning to any companies considering taking over Australia’s offshore detention centres, that to assume the contract to run the camps would be to be complicit in “human rights abuses”.
Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure giant which owns camp management company Broadspectrum, has already told the Australian government it will not work on the island camps on Nauru and PNG’s Manus Island beyond the expiration of its current contract in October 2017.
A new Amnesty briefing Treasure I$land: How companies are profiting from Australia’s abuse of refugees on Nauru, argues that any companies stepping into the breach after Broadspectrum leaves will be participating in a deliberately abusive regime.
“Any company or organisation considering taking up this toxic baton will be complicit in an intentionally abusive system, in direct contravention of its human rights responsibilities, and will be exposing itself to potential criminal liability and damages claims,” Lucy Graham, Amnesty International’s researcher on business and human rights, said.
“The regime of cruelty at the refugee processing centre on Nauru leaves a stain that no responsible company would want on its conscience or reputation.
“The Australian government has created an island of despair for refugees and people seeking asylum on Nauru, but an island of profit for companies making millions of dollars from a system so deliberately and inherently cruel and abusive it amounts to torture,” Graham said.
In response, Ferrovial told the Guardian Amnesty’s report was repetitious of previous statements, and “gratuitous, since it fails to take account of the company’s announcement, immediately…
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