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RAC Eurobodalla: Punishing children to deter people seeking our protection from coming to our shores

In the latest media release from Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla convenor Bernie Richards said "As the world focus builds on Nauru at the start of the Pacific Islands Forum this week, many countries are speaking out against the detention of children on Nauru. "There are reports of a crisis of ‘resignation syndrome’ among children, with at least 14 children transferred to Australia for urgent medical care this year. Meanwhile, in preparation for the Pacific Islands Forum, Nauruan authorities have moved asylum seekers out of the detention centre and destroyed the mouldy tents that have housed asylum seekers and refugees for the past five years.


"It takes a village to raise a child. What sort of a village is a prison (detention centre) where people who have committed no crime are handcuffed to attend medical appointments.

"All children have a right to a childhood in a loving, secure environment where they are free and enjoy the pleasures of a care free childhood. What sort of an environment are we giving children in onshore and offshore detention where they see their parents humiliated, mistreated and traumatised and where their movement is severely restricted.

"We do not want this life for our children or grandchildren. Take a moment to look at your local school, at the children learning, playing, enjoying outings, having fun at school fetes and know that this is an experience children on Nauru and in detention centres in Australia do not have.

"The Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla call on the Australian Government to demonstrate humanity and ensure that there is no child in offshore or onshore detention by the end of this month. The Australian Medical Association has also recently expressed concerns regarding the urgent medical situation affecting these children. They have demanded our government allow urgent access to these children in offshore detention centres. "

"Punishing children to deter people seeking our protection from coming to our shores is uncivilised and barbaric. Australians in rural communities are well known for offering a helping hand to those is need and insisting on a ‘fair go’ for all.

"These children have not had a fair go they have been robbed of the childhood that we take as a matter of course for our families," Ms Richards concluded

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