Responding to reports that proposed legislation would allow children and families detained on Nauru to be transferred to New Zealand, Oxfam Australia’s Head of Public Policy and Advocacy Rachel Ball said:
“Oxfam Australia welcomes the news 11 children were removed from Nauru earlier this week, and welcomes the attention from politicians on the remaining children on the island.
“Oxfam has long called for an end to offshore detention and this attention is urgently needed to break the destructive deadlock that is keeping another 52 children on Nauru.
“We urge both sides of politics to keep talking with the goal of taking urgent, immediate steps towards ensuring the lives of these children are protected.
“While a decision to allow their transfer to New Zealand is a step in the right direction towards ensuring the lives of these children and their families are protected, Australia is shirking its responsibilities. We are a nation with a strong economy, capacity to resettle a large number of people and a proven history of managing resettlement effectively.
“Much like the United States resettlement deal, the proposed New Zealand transfer doesn’t end the dire situation on Nauru. We can, and must, do more. We must increase the number of refugees we help to find safety through resettlement or other forms of humanitarian protection, and ensure that additional restrictions are not placed on their movement.
“The Australian Government must work to immediately evacuate the refugees on Nauru and Manus Island, to ensure they are able to work towards the future they deserve.”
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