| International News | Monday August 13 2012 16:50
An expert panel on asylum seeker policy has recommended offshore processing in both Malaysia and Nauru.
The government-appointed panel led by former defence force chief Angus Houston also has recommended the reopening of the Howard government-era detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.
They are among 22 key recommendations from the panel that also made up of refugee policy specialist Paris Aristotle and former diplomat Michael L'estrange.
The expert panel says detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island should be reopened as soon as possible.
The panel says Labor's Malaysia deal is a good arrangement that should be built upon, but its safeguards and accountability measures should be improved.
It also says turning back asylum seeker boats - a coalition policy - can be an effective disincentive.
Mr Houston says if the panel's recommendations are implemented in full, the number of illegal boat arrivals would start to fall.
Meanwhile Save the Children Australia has praised the recommendation to almost double Australia's humanitarian program.
The government-appointed panel says Australia should boost its annual humanitarian intake from 13,750 to 20,000 - and then up to 27,000 over the next five years.
Save the Children Australia says the recommendation recognises the refugee crisis the world is facing today.
Photo: Getty Images