Kids off Nauru

The gov­ern­ment takes ac­tion af­ter pub­lic pres­sure

WHO - - Contents -

AF­TER 11 CHIL­DREN WERE trans­ferred from Nauru’s Im­mi­gra­tion De­ten­tion Cen­tre for ur­gent med­i­cal treat­ment on Oct. 22, in­de­pen­dent MP Dr Ker­ryn Phelps called for the 52 chil­dren who re­mained at the time to also be re­lo­cated. Speak­ing to WHO, the fed­eral mem­ber for Went­worth said, “A child will die any day if we don’t get them off.” Now it ap­pears the gov­ern­ment is be­ing forced to take ac­tion, with High Com­mis­sioner to the United King­dom Ge­orge Bran­dis say­ing there should be no chil­dren left on Nauru by the end of the year. “This is a prob­lem that has largely gone away,” Bran­dis told Lon­don ra­dio sta­tion LBC on Nov. 1. “There are hardly any chil­dren in Nauru and in New Guinea, and we ex­pect that by the end of this year there’ll be none.” In re­sponse to pub­lic pres­sure, more chil­dren have since been trans­ferred to Aus­tralia for treat­ment and ad­vo­cates con­firmed there are only 27 chil­dren re­main­ing on the is­land. On Nov. 5, Jana Favero, a spokes­woman from the Asy­lum Seeker Re­source Cen­tre, said, “We wel­come the gov­ern­ment fi­nally mov­ing to bring kids to Aus­tralia. Af­ter five years, ev­ery mo­ment [on Nauru] is too long.” •

The is­land of Nauru is the size of Mel­bourne air­port and fam­i­lies are not al­lowed to leave.

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