Royal Commission hearing regarding abuse of children the Australian Government holds on Nauru

The Human Rights Law Centre’s Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, has welcomed the announcement that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is set to hold limited public hearings on Australia’s immigration detention regime on Nauru.

“Any scrutiny of the Australian Government’s role in harming innocent children in its care is vital, welcome and overdue. After three and a half years of abuse, fear and limbo, we already know that warehousing kids in offshore facilities is inherently harmful,” said Mr de Kretser.

In August last year, the Human Rights Law Centre released legal advice confirming the Royal Commission has the power to examine the response of the Australian Government and its contractors to child sexual abuse on Nauru.

“The Royal Commission is doing vital work to prevent child abuse in Australia. At the very same time, the Australian Government is holding children in Nauru in conditions where that abuse thrives. It has to stop,” said Mr de Kretser.

The hearing will examine the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Child Protection Panel report that the Government commissioned called ‘Making Children Safer – the wellbeing and protection of children in immigration detention and regional processing centres’. The report was completed in May 2016 but was only recently made public. The panel assessed 242 incidents of child abuse.

“Nauru and Manus are dead ends. It becomes clearer by the day that the only humane and viable way forward is for the Government to evacuate every single person on Nauru and Manus and bring them to safety here in Australia,” said Mr de Kretser.

For further information, please contact:
Tom Clarke, HRLC Director of Communications, on 0422 545 763