Kids off Nauru
The government takes action after public pressure
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.