Australia's offshore detention policy for asylum seekers has been criticised by a top-ranking UN official, Francois Crepeau.
Australia sends asylum seekers who arrive by boat to centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island. He said in Canberra on Friday that conditions on Nauru were "cruel, inhuman and degrading".
"Australia would vehemently protest if its citizens were treated like this by other countries and especially if Australian children were treated like this," the Canadian lawyer said.
Mr Crepeau, who visited the tiny Pacific island for two days, said Australia was responsible for how people sent to Nauru were treated, maintaining the tough stance on boat arrivals undermined Australia's strong human rights record.
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