The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, says Anglicans and other Christians in Sydney are concerned by the prospect of 91 asylum seeker children being returned to Nauru following the recent High Court ruling and has repeated his view that the situation of children in detention 'should concern every Australian'.
It is reported that Australia is detaining 80 children, including 36 babies, at Wickham Point and about 70 children on Nauru.
Wednesday’s High Court ruling means that dozens of asylum-seeker families, including babies born in Australia, could be deported to Nauru.
Dr Davies says the Human Rights Commission Report (2014) and the contemporary testimony of paediatricians indicate that the overwhelming majority of children suffer considerable trauma during detention.
“There is no safe level of exposure when it concerns children in detention” Dr Davies said.
Dr Davies said he was mindful of the difficult decisions that the Immigration Department, under various governments, has had to make.
“It is my sincere hope that the Immigration Minister and his Department can find a way to keep these children in Australia” the Archbishop said. “The Anglican Church in the Diocese of Sydney stands ready to offer help and facilities in whatever way we can.”
Photo: Artwork by refugee children, featured in the Human Rights Commission report 'The Forgotten Children'