'On 13 August 2012, the [Australian] Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers released its report containing a suite of measures and recommendations to the Government on how best to deal with asylum seeker issues in the short, medium and long term. One of the short-term measures recommended was a proposal to re-establish offshore processing facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea in order to provide a ‘circuit breaker to the current surge in irregular migration to Australia’. The practice of transferring asylum seekers intercepted at sea to third countries in the Pacific for processing was first introduced by the Howard Government in 2001—this policy became known as the ‘Pacific Solution’.


This background note provides a brief overview of the ‘Pacific Solution’ and also outlines some of the concerns expressed by many on the practice of accommodating asylum seekers in offshore processing facilities in the Pacific.'