Operation Sovereign Borders monthly update: December 2015

This statement provides an update on Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) activities related to the off-water reception and processing of illegal maritime arrivals.

The reporting period is from 1 December 2015 to 31 December 2015.

This period saw OSB mark two years of turning back boats from Australian waters; thus ending the tragic loss of life at sea associated with people smuggling. From the first turn back on 19 December 2013 through to 31 December 2015, OSB has returned 685 people aboard 23 ventures to their countries of departure.

During this reporting period there were no illegal maritime arrivals transferred to Australian Immigration authorities. No illegal maritime arrivals were transferred to regional processing centres.

One illegal maritime arrival transferee voluntarily returned to their country of origin after electing to go home from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre.

Nine illegal maritime arrival detainees were voluntarily removed from Australia.

One illegal maritime arrival detainee was involuntarily removed. Their removal from Australia is consistent with Australia's obligations.

As at 31 December 2015, there were a total of 922 people in Manus Island RPC and 537 people in Nauru RPC.

Of the 783 Refugee Status Interim Determination assessments on Manus Island, 446 were positive and 337 were negative as at 23 December 2015. Of the 361 refugees who have been given a positive final determination, 51 of those individuals were residing at the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre. Of the remaining people, 303 were accommodated at Manus RPC and three were accommodated in the community. 

Of the 1108 Refugee Status Determination (RSD) hand downs in Nauru, 840 were positive and 268 were negative as at 23 December 2015. Those with a positive RSD who remain in Nauru, are now living freely within the Nauruan community or in the RPC under open centre arrangements.

Media enquiries:
Immigration and Border Protection Media: (02) 6264 2244

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