This year marks five 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 secret, traumatising conditions without critical medical care or freedom.
Children and families have been locked-up on Nauru for over five years unable to leave an island the size of Melbourne Airport.
In this time, they’ve experienced repeated incidents of suicidality, self-harm and symptoms of Trauma Withdrawal Syndrome. They live in traumatizing conditions that are unsafe for their health, development and wellbeing.
The ASRC and legal partners have secured the medical transfer of dozens of children off Nauru. At each stage however, the Department of Home Affairs argues against these evacuations in court delaying urgent medical treatment for critically sick children.
The ASRC is part of the Kids Off Nauru coalition of major humanitarian and refugee sector organisations united to end the medical crisis caused by politically-driven indefinite offshore detention policies that make people sick.
Three months ago, the campaign set a deadline for the government to get children and their families medically transferred to Australia by Universal Children’s Day, November 20. And to urge the government to find safe, permanent homes for people in Australia or in a third suitable country.
A petition carrying more than 170,000 signatures supporting the Kids Off Nauru call was presented to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Tuesday and accepted by MPs Kerryn Phelps and others on Parliament House Lawns.
Independent Member fro Wentworth Dr Kerryn Phelps has since announced the Urgent Medical Treatment Bill that will change the Migration Act to provide urgent medical transfers for critically ill men, women and children in offshore detention to save their lives.
The men on Manus continue to advocate for their freedom and look after their fellow brothers who remain on the Island.
This involves some 400 men who have no certainty for their future and are experiencing rapid deterioration in physical and mental health. Twelve men have lost their lives, and there have been twelve incidents of self harm and suicidality in the past two weeks. The Australian government continues to deny resettlement in Australia or New Zealand while its U.S. deal is moving slowly.
The Urgent Medical Treatment Bill is our one chance to transfer critically sick people off Manus and Nauru. Please call these key Liberal MPs to #BacktheBill.
The Australian government must urgently evacuate all children and their families off Nauru and the men in Papua New Guinea, including Manus Island to Australia, where they can wait in safety for permanent safe resettlement outcomes.
Together in our thousands, we are calling upon the Morrison government to end the inhumanity of offshore processing and provide permanent safe homes to those unjustly imprisoned five years ago.