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Australia

Yearbook 2016

Australia. The Australian Supreme Court announced in February that the country's refugee management, with the custody of asylum seekers in third countries, does not violate the law. Since 2013, no asylum seekers have been allowed to come to Australia by sea. Those who refuse to return are instead sent to the island nation of Nauru or to the island of Manus, which belongs to Papua New Guinea. There, the refugees are interned in camps for which Australia pays. The judgment was seen as a guide for just over 260 asylum seekers who had fled the islands to receive care in Australia and who, in connection with the decision, risked being sent back. The ruling received criticism from the UN and sparked protests throughout Australia.

2016 AustraliaAccording to countryaah, the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in March decided to raise the threat level to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef along Australia's northeastern coast to disaster mode, after it was found that large parts of the reef's coral were subjected to extensive bleaching. According to researchers, half of the Great Barrier Reef were already "dead or dying". Behind the bleaching was unusually high water temperatures of up to 33 degrees, which were assumed to be due to global warming. Marine life in the reef had decreased significantly, which risked disrupting the ecosystem.

2016 Australia

A study by the Reuters news agency made clear in April that the number of firearms murders in Australia has dropped by 72% over the past 20 years. In 1996, the country's gun laws were tightened and over one million weapons were seized or bought back by the authorities. The analysis was based on figures from the Australian Statistics Office.

The same month, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled that the Australian refugee camp on the island of Manus must be closed as the internment violated the country's constitution. According to AFP News Agency, Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the decision did not mean the government would change its migration policy. "People who illegally tried to get to Australia by boat and who are now at the facility in Manus will not be placed in Australia," Dutton told AFP.

In May, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a new election several months in advance, since the Senate for the second time in a row said no to a bill. In the election, held on July 2, the ruling coalition with the Liberal Party and the National Party, whose parliamentary seats, however, decreased from 90 to 76 out of all 150. The opposition Labor Party increased its mandate from 55 to 69. Of the country's voting, around 90% voted voted.

In the same month, many people were shaken when public service company ABC revealed how young perpetrators admitted to an institution in the town of Darwin in Northern Territory for several years had been subjected to abuse and abuse of staff. Among other things, video clips were shown on a 17-year-old boy, who with a disguised upper body and hood for his face was left chained in a chair. In other clips, staff sprayed tear gas at young people, while filming and laughing at the interns who shouted that they could not breathe. Of those who live at the facility, many are Aboriginal people, whereupon human rights organizations drew attention to how the indigenous people of the country are treated.

Another scandal got attention during the summer when The Guardian magazine published over 2,000 leaked documents with incident reports, written by employees at the refugee camp in Nauru. The documents testified about abuse and mistreatment of refugees, of which more than half were about children. The reports describing various abuses, such as sexual abuse of children and children with self-harm behavior, confirmed the picture that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reported in a publication a week earlier. “We saw about the same thing in our investigation. The data is horrible and completely disgusting, ”said a spokesman for Amnesty in Sweden. From the Australian Department of Migration, the statement stated that the information was unconfirmed but that it would be investigated.

In New South Wales, authorities announced in October that the number of shark traps on the state's coast would be increased from 15 to 100. The decision was made after a 17-year-old surfer was taken to hospital the same month after being bitten in the hip by a shark. So far, five of all nine attacks this year had occurred in New South Wales, where most of the country's shark attacks occur. Last year, 14 people were attacked by sharks in the area, which was a sharp increase from the year before when the number of victims was three. As soon as a shark was caught in a trap it would be labeled with ultrasound transmitters, after which the movements of the sharks can be tracked through special websites and apps.

In November, Australia signed an agreement with the United States that boat refugees from the Manus and Nauru camps should be offered residence in the United States. The agreement would apply to asylum seekers who were at the facilities, but not future refugees. According to the Reuters news agency, there were 1,200 people interned in the islands, many of whom had been held there for more than three years. The deal was concluded with President Barack Obama's administration.

In December, Australia signed a new agreement with the United States, which meant that the US Air Force would deploy its most advanced F-22 fighter aircraft in Northern Australia. The decision was seen as a mark against China, which has rapidly strengthened its military position in recent years.

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