Statement in Reaction to the Release of the #NauruFiles by the Guardian
Child Safe Horizons calls for immediate action to protect the children who are currently being held in offshore detention on Nauru, including those who have already been resettled outside the Regional Processing Centre.
Despite claims that the Government of Nauru is now responsible for the fate and welfare of children who are sent there, Child Safe Horizons believes that the Australian Government must bear the responsibility for these children. This is in line with the United Nations Convention on Refugees, which Australia has ratified. The convention does not provide for “outsourcing” of refugee processing to a third country.
The leaking of the Nauru files comes after years of reports that the conditions on Nauru are putting children and all those seeking asylum directly in harm’s way. The Moss Review in 2015 highlighted only some of the cases of sexual abuse, assault and self-harm involving children on Nauru. Children and their families are being kept in conditions which are inhumane and grossly inadequate. Children are being kept from schooling and from enjoying their basic human rights. This has to change.
“The reports in The Guardian are absolutely horrifying. Malcolm Turnbull recently said in relation to the Don Dale juvenile detention centre in the Northern Territories, “This is a shocking state of affairs…. this needs a thorough enquiry; we need to move quickly on that…and expose what occurred, expose the culture that allowed it to occur, and allowed it to remain unrevealed for so long.” We would think that the children on Nauru deserve the same reaction.
Australia has ratified both the UN Convention on Refugees and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that contrary to what has been stated, these children on Nauru should have been under the care and protection of the Australian Commonwealth Government.”
Child Safe Horizons calls for the immediate establishment of a Royal Commission to investigate all reported cases of harm to children who have been sent to Nauru.
We ask that the Australian government take immediate action so as to ensure placement of these children in a protective space and services supplied to assist in the healing process.
We call for all children and their caregivers, being held in detention offshore to be brought to Australia for treatment, community housing, and processing of their asylum claims.