Anyone else see the Four Corners episode on Monday night?
😦 Those poor children…we need to get them out of there. They belong in Australia, where they can be safe, not on Nauru in indefinite limbo, too frightened to go to school. We’re torturing them – for that is what leaving them in that environment, exposing them to physical, psychological and other forms of abuse is. See here: convention_on_the_rights_of_the_child
They’ve been through hell in their birth countries and have been classified as genuine refugees. They’re no longer in the “detention centres” on Nauru…but their situation, living in a hostile community that doesn’t want them, hasn’t improved.
They should be here!
And the government has the frikking nerve to criticise the ABC and Amnesty International, whose scathing report on the situation was released yesterday. They’ve trotted out the “saving lives from drowning at sea” line again, insisting that the refugees are the responsibility of the Nauran government (which, by the by, has accused the ABC of being racist and an “embarrassment to journalism” after the program). Pathetic! The Australian government doesn’t care about the welfare of the people restricted on Nauru…all they care about is being “tough on borders”.
I’m sick of it.
When will politicians have the political and moral courage to admit that they are wrong in continuing this – and seek a better way? There needs to be a compromise, a true multilateral solution that focuses on the humanity, vulnerability and welfare of refugees and asylum seekers.
In the above link, Amnesty International suggests the following:
Amnesty International urges the Australian Government to show genuine leadership and adopt a better plan for refugees which could include:
- Boosting Australia’s aid program to help neighbouring countries better protect and support refugees. When people are legally recognised, have safe accommodation, can send their kids to school, and can work and access health services, they won’t be forced to make dangerous journeys to Australia.
- Making sure the most vulnerable people are resettled within our region and globally. Pressure on individual countries can be reduced if Australia works closely with New Zealand, Japan, the USA, Canada and others to ensure everyone does their fair share. This includes Australia welcoming a minimum of 30,000 refugees per year through its resettlement program.
- Including refugees in existing visa programs. In addition to Australia’s core resettlement program, to recognise the valuable skills and qualifications of many refugees by including them when allocating student, work and family reunion visas.
- Assessing refugee applications within a defined time period. When people know they will be assessed in an efficient and orderly way, they are less likely to make a dangerous boat journey.
- Undertaking timely search and rescue operations. Instead of hazardous push-backs of boats at sea, Australia can run search and rescue operations that save lives.
How about it, politicians?
It’s upsetting. My heart goes out to those children and young people. I pray that the situation will improve – and until it does, you bet I’ll keep speaking out about it.
[Convention on the Rights of the Child accessed here.]