Help groups call on Pacific leaders to demand that Australia close the Nauru camp

This two-year-old child is one of many on Nauru.

Amnesty International has joined 80 other NGOs to urge Pacific leaders to demand the closure of the Australian-funded immigrant detention camp in Nauru when they meet in the small island nation next week.

The 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) will hold its annual summit in Nauru from September 3 to 6, and delegates will meet a few kilometers from the camp called "Guantanamo of Australia".

Amnesty, along with 80 other non-governmental organizations, published an open letter in which they asked the BIP leaders to act and put an end to "a stain in the region".

"The leaders of the Pacific islands can no longer ignore this problem and they must make sure that it is at the top of the forum's agenda," said Roshika Deo, Amnesty's researcher for the Pacific.

Some of the children in the refugee camp on the island of Nauru.

AUSTRALIAN RURAL REFUGEES

"This is a desperate situation that requires urgent action, and regional leaders must show that they will not be vigilant while the abusive policies of the Australian government continue to risk more lives."

Rights groups said that asylum seekers in Nauru and Manus Island of PNG were subjected to "cruel and degrading treatment" that must be stopped.

"(There are) widespread reports of violence against refugees in Papua New Guinea and violence and sexual harassment of women and children in Nauru," the letter said.

There are more than 200 people at the Nauru facility, according to the Australian Refugee Council, which includes dozens of children.

The island of Nauru hosts a refugee camp, but will also house international delegates.

The island of Nauru hosts a refugee camp, but will also house international delegates.

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Rights advocates say they are suffering from mental health problems under the pressure of indefinite detention, with reports of despondent children being harmed.

However, the facility financed by Canberra has been an economic lifeline for Nauru, which has an area of ​​only 21 square kilometers and has exhausted its only natural resource, phosphate.

The government of Nauru has imposed strict conditions on the media covering the PIF summit, threatening to revoke journalists' visas if they capture images of the camps or asylum seekers.

It has also limited the number of journalists who attended and banned ABC, after taking an exception to its coverage.