NPR’s Coverage of the On-Going Detention of Asylum Seekers on Nauru

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What’s Nauru?

That’s the question I asked myself some three weeks ago when a headline from The Guardian came across my Twitter feed reading: “The Nauru Files.”

Nauru, as it turns out is the small Pacific Island nation where the Australian government sends asylum seekers they’ve swept up in the sea to be “processed.” And by “processed” I mean detained indefinitely or sent back to their country of origin.

When I pitched this story, I had no idea it would produce three in-depth interviews — and we’re planning for at least two more — detailing the horrific conditions and experiences lived by asylum seekers on the 8-square-mile island in the middle of nowhere. We first interviewed an Amnesty International researcher who had recently been to Nauru. Then we heard from a former employee of Save the Children Australia who lost her job after disclosing reports of alleged sexual and physical abuse to children on the island. And then finally we got to learn more about the balancing act Save the Children Australia  — and other aid groups — often have to do in order to just get access to an area where people need help. We are currently seeking an interview with the Australian government, but they have yet to grant that request.

Here are the first 3 interviews NPR has done so far:

Claims Probed of Brutal Conditions on the Island of Nauru

Ex-Aid Worker: Abuse of Refugee Children On Nauru Was Mostly Ignored

What Happens When An Aid Group Sees Abuse, But Is Sworn to Secrecy?