PM must get refugee children off Nauru immediately

24 October 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison must immediately order that all children and families of refugees be removed from Nauru and brought to Australia.

These children and their families were transported to Nauru and confined in camps by the Commonwealth government as a method of discouraging asylum seekers from seeking to reach the Australian mainland. Despite the families subsequently being ‘freed’ from these camps, they are unable to leave Nauru.

According to media reports, 11 children were transferred from Nauru earlier this week. However these reports say this still leaves another 55 children on the island, some of whom require medical or other treatment which is not available on Nauru.

Australian Education Union Acting Federal President Maurie Mulheron said the refugee children on Nauru are being used as political pawns yet they are really innocent victims of circumstances. He said the Morrison government’s decision to leave these children on Nauru was heartless and would inflict long-term damage on these children.

“It is vital that the Morrison government get the refugee children and their families off Nauru as quickly as possible,” Mr Mulheron said.

“These refugee children and their families have come to us begging for help, yet our government abandoned them on Nauru. These children are innocent victims who deserve the chance at an education and a safe future,” Mr Mulheron said.

“It reflects poorly on the Morrison government that it cannot look past politics when it comes to these refugee children, who have already suffered immensely. It can bring them to safety in Australia immediately, yet has failed to do so.”

“Young children are incredibly vulnerable and need to be in a stable, structured learning environment. As teachers, we know how critically important it is for young children to have the opportunity to attend school.”

“Education is vital to ensure that children develop the foundational skills that they need to be successful learners and to ensure that they can contribute positively to society,” Mr Mulheron said.

“These people are our responsibility, yet the Morrison government has seemingly washed its hands of them.”

“The Morrison government must stop playing politics with these children’s lives and get them off Nauru and to Australia as soon as possible,” Mr Mulheron said.