Stories of children on Nauru show it’s well and truly time to bring them here

Monday night’s Four Corners episode, The Forgotten Children: The young refugees stranded on Nauru, is further evidence that all people currently warehoused by the Australian government on Nauru and Manus must immediately be brought to safety in Australia.

Daniel Webb, the Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said that the interviews screened on Four Corners were further evidence that the government’s offshore arrangements were causing serious harm to innocent people, including children.

“There are clearly some incredible kids on Nauru - so smart and resilient. These kids just want what every child in the world wants - a chance at a decent life somewhere safe. Our government can’t continue to knowingly cause them harm,” said Mr Webb.

The Four Corners episode was screened as Amnesty International released the full report from its visit to Nauru - Island of despair: Australia’s “processing” of refugees on Nauru - which further details the dangers facing refugees and people seeking asylum on the island.

Mr Webb, who recently returned from his third visit to Manus Island, said there were clear parallels between the situations on the ground on both Nauru and Manus.

“There are some truly remarkable people on both islands. On Nauru, a young girl who speaks five languages. On Manus, a man who speaks seven, two of which he taught himself while in detention and whose friends tease him for always practising his Spanish into his pillow,” said Mr Webb.

“These are people from different parts of the world, of different ages, with different histories and different hopes and dreams for the future. But what they have in common is that they are tired. After three years on a painful road to nowhere they are absolutely exhausted,” said Mr Webb.

“Nauru and Manus are both dead ends. Whatever the policy challenge, continuing to harm innocent people is never the solution. After three years of fear, violence and limbo, it’s well and truly time for the government to bring these men, women and children here to Australia and allow them to begin rebuilding their lives in safety,” said Mr Webb.

For further comments or queries please contact:

Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre, 0437 278 961

Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519