Politics

The Australian Government Will Compensate Nearly 2,000 Refugees Detained On Manus Island

It's the biggest human rights settlement in Australian history.

A class action lawsuit on behalf of more than 1,900 asylum seekers detained on Manus Island has been settled with the federal government. Each detainee is set to receive an estimated $150,000 pay out.

That means the government could be forking out $285 million in compensation, which would make the case one of the biggest human rights related settlements in Australian history.

The class action case was being run on behalf of the detainees who have been seeking damages for false imprisonment and alleged physical and psychological harm. The group is made up of men detained on Manus Island between 2012 and 2016, a period that included a riot on the island and the death of an asylum seeker.

This morning lawyers representing the detainees informed the Victorian Supreme Court that they had reached a settlement agreement with the federal government. The government is expected to release more details about the settlement later today.

Update: The law firm representing the detainees, Slater and Gordon, has announced that the federal government, along with private contractors G4S and Transfield, will pay $70 million compensation.

The Manus Island detention centre is set to close later this year, and Slater and Gordon have announced they will work with detainees to distribute the compensation before the shut down.