The Current

Psychologist describes Australian migrant camps as an atrocity

With over 40 years working in trauma, Paul Stevenson believes the conditions of the island camps of Nauru and Manus are the worst he has ever witnessed.
Asylum seekers are sent to island camps after being turned away from Australian shores. (Chasing Asylum Film) (Chasing Asylum Film)

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In April, Director Eva Orner spoke to The Current about her documentary Chasing Asylum, which captures the horrific conditions for migrants forced into camps on the offshore island nation of Nauru, and on Manus island, Papa New Guinea, by the Australian government.

The documentary is now playing to packed cinemas across Australia, generating discussion about how to treat refugees trying to reach the Southern continent.

A prominent Australian psychologist who has worked with the staff and the detainees on the island camps, is now speaking out. 

The people on Nauru and Manus island have only their own body to use in protest.- On estimates that self harm in these camps is four times the expected average

With over 40 years of experience working in trauma, and 16 trips to Nauru and Manus, Paul Stevenson maintains this is the worst atrocity he has ever witnessed. He speaks with The Current about what he's seen, and why circumstances so dire. 

  • Paul Stevenson, psychologist and traumatologist

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry