This year marks six years of offshore processing for people seeking asylum. A policy that has taken the lives of 12 people and indefinitely holds men, women and children in traumatising conditions without critical medical care or freedom.
Children, women and families have been locked-up on Nauru for close to six years unable to leave an island the size of Melbourne Airport. In this time they’ve lived in traumatising conditions that are unsafe for their health and wellbeing with repeated incidents of self-harm and symptoms of Trauma Withdrawal Syndrome.
The ASRC is part of the #KidsOffNauru coalition of major humanitarian and refugee organisations united to end the medical crisis caused by the Australian Government’s inhumane policies. In November 2018, the campaign presented a petition carrying more than 170,000 signatures in support of all#KidsOffNauru to a coalition of crossbenchers on Parliament House Lawns.
Over 100 children and their families have since been evacuated to Australia for urgent medical treatment, and on 3 December 2018 Dr Kerryn Phelps announced the Urgent Medical Treatment Bill to amend the Migration Act and transfer critically ill men, women and children remaining in all offshore detention to Australia.
In October 2017 the Government ordered all staff and personnel to abandon the 606 men in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, leaving them without food, water, power or medicine. In response, three ASRC staff visited Manus Island to witness and report on the crisis, generating widespread media attention.
Some 400 men remain with deteriorating physical and mental health and no certainty on their future as the Australian government continues to deny resettlement in Australia or New Zealand.
The Urgent Medical Treatment Bill is our one chance to transfer critically sick people off Manus and Nauru and save lives. Please call key MPs to #BacktheBill this February.
Together in our thousands, we are calling upon the Morrison Government to end the brutal inhumanity of offshore processing and provide permanent safe homes to those unjustly imprisoned.