Operation Sovereign Borders monthly update: May 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 May 2019 to 31 May 2019.

During this reporting period there were 18 IMAs transferred from regional processing countries to Australian Immigration authorities.

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

Five IMA detainees, who arrived in Australia before 1 January 2014, were voluntarily removed from Australia. There were no IMA detainee(s) involuntarily removed from Australia to their country of origin, consistent with Australia’s obligations.

During this same period, the Australian Government intercepted a maritime people smuggling venture from Sri Lanka with 20 Sri Lankan nationals on-board. None of the potential illegal immigrants or crew aboard the vessel engaged Australia’s protection obligations, and all 20 people were successfully returned to Sri Lanka in close cooperation with the Sri Lankan Government.

For the month of May 2019, zero IMAs voluntarily returned to their country of origin from a regional processing country.

As at 31 May 2019, there was a total of zero people in the Nauru RPC. The Manus RPC closed on 31 October 2017.

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

On 23 May 2019, Sri Lankan authorities rescued a vessel in distress carrying 41 potential illegal immigrants allegedly destined for Australia.

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