Australia’s leading NGOs set deadline to get Kids Off Nauru
A coalition of more than 30 organisations has set a 3-month deadline for Australia’s political leaders to remove all children and their families currently being held on Nauru.
The CEO of World Vision, Claire Rogers said the #KidsOffNauru coalition made up of humanitarian, refugee, church and human rights organisations want to see the 119 children currently on Nauru released by Universal Children’s Day, November 20, at the latest.
“It is clear that indefinite detention is daily causing real and serious harm to these children,” Ms Rogers said. “As agencies charged with protecting children’s rights we are inviting all Australians who care about children to join us in demanding these kids be released.”
Ms Rogers said that the plight of the children on Nauru has largely been hidden from ordinary Australians’ eyes as they languish on an island the same size as Melbourne Airport.
“Many of them have lived for years in tents, they have been separated from close family members and have no safe place to play or access to acceptable medical care. And no hope.”
She said the coalition was calling for common sense, compassion and leadership from the nation’s leaders.
“These children have been forced to see and endure things that no child should ever see. They should have the chance to rebuild their lives in peace and safety,” she said.
World Vision calls for the Australian Parliament to immediately evacuate the children and their families from Nauru and bring them to Australia or a third country that will welcome them.
“The clock is ticking. This harmful, secretive and dysfunctional system of indefinite detention must end,” Ms Rogers said.
Australia should invest in humane solutions that both reduced deaths at sea and eliminated abuse.
“One should not come at the expense of the other. The world’s refugee crisis is a complex problem. Locking up children is never the answer,” she said.
World Vision Australia believes no person of any age should be forced to suffer through indefinite detention.
For pictures go to Nauru Kids Pics
About the images of the children
These are the faces of three children who have spent their entire lives detained on Nauru.
Their families want Australians to know that children (119 in total) are still trapped on the island. They consented to the photos being available for the nation to see. (Their names have been changed.)
“There are children here suffering. We don’t know what our future holds. Our children are like any other little children around the world – but they are not allowed to be free.”
Roze, 2 years old (wearing a pink top)
She is a sociable little girl and likes to play outside, but there is no place for children to play in Nauru. She loves reading her picture books and writing. Her family has been in Nauru for five years, so Roze has spent her entire life on the island. (Although she was born in PNG) They say that they would not wish on their worst enemies to see their own child growing up in island detention.
George, 2 years old (wearing a monster Tshirt)
He likes to play with his toy car and he loves to write. He was born in Nauru – the family have been on the island for 5 years. His mother says she wishes that nobody be put into the situation where they have no idea what their future holds. “He doesn’t talk yet, but he loves to write. I think he is going to be a writer, like his father.”
Melanie, 3 (wearing a green top)
Melanie likes to play with Lego, and she likes to cook and paint. Her family have been on the island for five years. “It is so difficult to live in Nauru. I wish on nobody that they are stuck here like us.” Her mum said that every day Melanie pretends to be a doctor when she plays.
For interviews with Claire Rogers or further information please contact:
Ruth Lamperd (News Editor) 0417 765 947 or email@example.com
Angus Smith (Public Affairs Officer) 0409 571 059 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisations that have joined the #KidsOffNauru coalition include:
• World Vision Australia
• Welcome to Australia
• Refugee Advocacy Network
• Rural Australians for Refugees
• Australian Lawyers Alliance
• Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru
• Plan International Australia
• Refugee Legal:
• St Paul's Anglican Cathedral
• Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
• Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW
• The Body Shop Australia
• Anglican Diocese of Sydney
• Mums 4 Refugees Australia
• Mums 4 Refugees New Zealand
• Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS)
• Refugee Council of Australia
• Oxfam Australia
• Amnesty International Australia
• Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children (National, (NSW), (Victoria)
• Australian Refugee Action Network
• Australian Council for International Development
• Save The Children Australia
• World Vision New Zealand
• Micah Australia
• Common Grace
• Love Makes A Way
• Teachers for Refugees
• Doctors for Refugees
• Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University
• NSW Council for Civil Liberties.
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