Australian detention centre guards allegedly paid female refugees on Nauru for sex and circulated videos of the encounters, a former social worker claims.
Charlotte Wilson, who was a case worker with Save the Children until February, made the explosive allegation in a submission to a Senate inquiry examining abuse at the detention centre.
She said there were reports of “solicitation” between female refugees and Wilson Security guards.
“I was told that this was acknowledged in management meetings between service providers and that it was also established that these acts had been filmed and circulated around Wilson (Security) staff,” she wrote.
Prostitution is legal on Nauru so no action had been taken against staff members, Ms Wilson said.
It was also common knowledge that there was bartering and trading of sexual favours within the camp, she said.
Ms Wilson believes profound damage has been caused to nearly every single man, woman and child in detention on the island because of prolonged deprivation of freedom, abuse of power, uncertainty of future, disempowerment, loss of privacy and inadequate health services.
It was common for female asylum seekers to stop menstruating and lose their hair because of the stress of the harsh conditions.
Pregnant women were not afforded special treatment and were made to queue for meals, she said.
There was also a shortage of shoes for asylum seekers.
“A female asylum seeker told me she was sharing one pair of thongs with four women,” Ms Wilson said.
Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the more that is discovered about what goes on inside Nauru, the worse it gets.
“Nauru is a seedy, toxic and dangerous place,” she said, in a statement, adding that women and children should not be forced to stay there.
Comment has been sought from Wilson Security and Transfield Services.