Australia's human rights commissioner Graeme Innes is urging the Federal Government not to use the new immigration detention centre on Christmas Island.
A boat carrying 44 suspected asylum seekers was found off the Western Australian coast near Broome on the weekend, the sixth boat detected in Australian waters in the past two months.
Mr Innes says regardless of the numbers arriving in Australia the new centre, which remains unused, is inhumane and too isolating.
"My message is not to treat asylum seekers as prisoners because they're not, and to not put them in a forbidding prison-like centre which the new centre is and keep them in the old facility," he said.
Govt attacked on 'asylum' boat issue
Amnesty International: deeply concerned with the government's policy of taking boat people to Christmas Island. Human rights groups have attacked the federal government over its treatment of a group of suspected asylum seekers intercepted en route to Australia.
Christmas Island like a prison: Amnesty
Our refugee coordinator Graham Thom, along with our national director Claire Mallinson and board vice president Jim Sharp, has just visited the new Christmas Island detention centre.
Detention centre staff 'cracked'
There were 62 cases of mental illness among former guards at the Woomera and Baxter detention centres in South Australia.
Indonesia tells bombers families get ready
8 years ago