Australia has removed the last asylum-seeker children from detention on the remote island of Nauru, ending one of the most contentious parts of the nation’s border-protection policy.
The final four children and their families have been approved to fly to the U.S. for resettlement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement Sunday. There were 109 children in detention when Morrison became leader in August.
There are still hundreds of people languishing in the camp on Nauru, an island nation of barely 10,000 people in Micronesia. Australia refuses to resettle any of the asylum seekers in the camp — even those deemed genuine refugees — saying it could spur renewed people smuggling. The policy has damaged Australia’s international reputation, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees saying open-ended detention is causing the asylum seekers immense harm.