Operation Sovereign Borders monthly update: December 2019

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

The reporting period is from 1 December 2019 to 31 December 2019.

During this reporting period there were 10 IMAs transferred from a regional processing country to Australia for medical purposes or were an accompanying family member.

During this reporting period, Operation Sovereign Borders intercepted no illegal maritime ventures and returned no potential illegal immigrants (PII).

No IMAs were transferred from Australia to a regional processing country.

Seven IMA detainees, who arrived in Australia before 1 January 2014, were voluntarily removed from Australia. One IMA detainee was involuntarily removed from Australia to their country of origin, consistent with Australia’s obligations.

During December 2019, Sri Lankan authorities arrested a Sri Lankan national for facilitating an illegal maritime venture with 13 PII on board, that was intercepted near Christmas Island in August 2019. Sri Lankan authorities disrupted 16 passengers potentially destined for Australia. Sri Lankan authorities disrupted a maritime venture in Trincomalee that was potentially bound for Australia. Four people were arrested for allegedly facilitating the venture.

No IMAs voluntarily returned to their country of origin from a regional processing country.

As at 31 December 2019, there were no people in the Nauru Regional Processing Centre (RPC). The Manus RPC closed on 31 October 2017.

The processing of refugee claims are matters for the governments of PNG and Nauru.

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