Responding to reports on the shocking scale of abuse being inflicted on children held in offshore detention on Nauru, Oxfam Australia’s Director of Public Engagement Pam Anders said:
“Evidence of the systemic and cruel abuse being suffered by children and families on Nauru should compel the Australian Government to close the dysfunctional offshore detention centre,” Ms Anders said.
“The appalling level of trauma and abuse is an indictment on the Australian Government.”
The Guardian reported today that more than half of 2,116 leaked incident reports from the centre on the Pacific island of Nauru involved children. It reported that the files contained disturbing evidence of assaults, sexual abuse, attempts at self-harm, child abuse and miserable living conditions.
“The people detained offshore should have their claims processed quickly and be offered resettlement in Australia if they are successful,” Ms Anders said.
“Australia has the capacity to accept more refugees and asylum seekers – vulnerable people who should not be forced to live in traumatic conditions in offshore centres.
“Offshore detention comes at a great cost to all involved. The cost to detainees in terms of mental health, wellbeing and psychological harm is immeasurable. There is also a significant financial cost, which is difficult to accurately estimate but is certainly over $1 billion.
“Oxfam is calling for an end to offshore detention and the processing of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island.
“Recent evidence of the horrific abuse of children in the Don Dale Detention Centre in Darwin prompted a swift response from the Government.
“The Government is equally obliged to respond to today’s revelations.”
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