Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Pacific Solution was the name given to the Australian government policy of diverting asylum seekers to detention camps on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland. There were a number of pieces of legislation supporting this policy, including the controversial excising of thousands of islands from Australia’s migration zone. The policy was developed in response to the 2001 Tampa affair.
All costs associated with running the centres and processing the asylum applications were met by Australia.
The policy received criticism from a number of areas, with refugee rights groups and NGO’s claiming that Australia was failing to meet its international obligations. The ad-hoc nature in which the policy evolved was also criticised, as it resulted in people being moved to Manus Island and Nauru before facilities were ready.
As at March 17, 2004, 1,229 asylum seekers had been processed on Nauru, and 276 remained.
Several other countries are now considering setting up similar migration schemes, in particular a proposal from the EU to set up off-shore "asylum seeker processing centres" in North Africa. 
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