The Government Has Caved To Pressure And Will Get Children Off Nauru

Leroy Wright
November 4, 2018

Newspaper The Australian earlier quoted government sources saying there were 40 children remaining at processing centres on Nauru and they would be transferred to Australia by the end of the year.

An alarming report by The Refugee Council of Australia and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre found that refugee children on Nauru were more traumatised then children in war zones.

All asylum seeker children will be taken from Nauru by the end of this year but never allowed to settle permanently in Australia.

Shayne Neumann, the ALP's immigration spokesperson, welcomed the news but said it was "up to Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton to ensure children are actually removed from Nauru".

"It's been done in accordance with our policies, our existing policies, and I obviously don't go into the operational arrangements", he added.

"There are hardly any children in Nauru and [Papua] New Guinea and we expect that by the end of this year there will be none", Australia's high commissioner in London George Brandis told United Kingdom talkback radio station LBC today. Last week, the government said that number was down to 52.

"It will take a long time to fix 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".

It is understood 38 children of asylum seekers remain on the island.

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It states that 46 children have been born to asylum seekers sent to Nauru since the processing centre was reopened there in 2012. "They are being moved to Australia on a case-by-case basis if that is required for urgent and significant medical treatment", he said.

Under a deal with former USA president Barack Obama, 439 people of a potential 1,250 have so far been resettled from Manus and Nauru to the United States.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Dutton also warned that resettling refugees from Nauru in New Zealand would risk restarting the smuggling trade to Australia - where they would end up in Nauru, regardless of whether they have children.

"The government is going to the court tomorrow in an attempt to block some children that really do need to be removed today", he said.

On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there were 50 children left on the island and that his intention was to get that to zero, with 200 children having already been transferred to Australia. "The mental and physical conditions of these children on Nauru have been devastating". But after more than a year of screening, only 439 have found new homes there.

A YouGov Gallaxy national poll taken from October 17 to 22 found that 79 percent of respondents wanted the government to take up New Zealand's offer to take 150 refugees. "We are anxious, and the situation is getting worse day by day".

New Zealand has also offered to take some of the refugees, but Australia has declined the offer because it fears that would allow asylum seekers to enter through the "back door".

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