Australia: Future still uncertain for detained children from Nauru

Refugee children take part in a protest in March 2015 against their resettlement on Nauru and living conditions on the island
Refugee children take part in a protest in March 2015 against their resettlement on Nauru and living conditions on the island

‘It is imperative that moving them off Nauru does not lead to further detention in Australia’ - Charmain Mohammed

Responding to the Australian government’s announcement that it will remove all children from its offshore detention centre on Nauru within two months, Charmain Mohammed, Amnesty International’s Head of Refugee and Migrant Rights, said:

“We are encouraged that politicians are finally starting to listen to the Australian people, many of whom have expressed disgust at the situation on Nauru.

“This announcement represents a long overdue acknowledgment by the Australian government that its brutal offshore detention policy has failed.

“It will take a long time to repair the damage that has been done to these children, some of whom were born in detention and have spent their formative years surrounded by guards, steel fences and catastrophic suffering.

“However, many questions remain about the future of these children and their families. It is imperative that moving them off Nauru does not lead to further detention in Australia, and we are calling on the Australian government to commit to their full integration into society, including by providing the mental health care they so desperately need. 

“We are also concerned that this announcement could lead to family separations, if the Australian government does not also take steps to free all adults from detention in Nauru.

“The health crisis in Australia’s offshore detention centres gets worse with every day that passes. Suicide and self-harm are rife and many adults are at breaking point.

“Until Australia moves every single refugee and asylum-seeker out of detention on Nauru and Manus Island, lives will continue to be in danger.”

ENDS

Amnesty International UK media information:

Cora Bauer: 0207 033 6404: cora.bauer@amnesty.org.uk

Out of hours: 07721 398984: www.amnesty.org.uk

Twitter: @NewsFromAmnesty

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