Down here at the southern end of the Earth human rights abuses very often seem like the stuff of faraway lands.
But there’s this one country – and to be honest you probably have heard of it.
A leak of documents this week reveals a place of routine almost mundane cruelty – a place where loathing, despair and suicide lurk around every corner.
The country responsible for this humanitarian scandal is not of course some lawless third-world autocracy.
It is Australia in the shape of its detention facility on Nauru – the world’s smallest island state and a bleeding sore in Australia’s policy to stop asylum-seeking ‘boat people’.
Australia: our Tasman neighbour – our mates – indeed in one prime minister’s recent diplo-schtick ‘We are more than friends – we are family’.
Australia: architect of a human rights disgrace as detailed in a chilling series of more than 2000 ‘incident reports’ from its offshore facility in Nauru – leaked this week to Guardian Australia.
The files – which cover a period of two years and five months up to October 2015 include seven reports of sexual assault on children – 59 accounts of assault on children and 30 incidents of self-harm involving children.
Scrawled at the top of many of them are the words ‘Rating changed by Wilson’ denoting a differing view on the severity of the incident by Wilson Security – a corporate cousin of the universally beloved Wilsons Parking NZ – who staff the camp under contract to the Australian Government.