Backing for #kidsoffNauru

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Read Backing for #kidsoffNauru

Archbishop Glenn Davies has signalled continued support for the campaign to remove children from immigration detention on the island of Nauru.

Fifty-two children remain on the island, among about 652 asylum seekers, including 107 families.

A further 626 men are being held on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. All the refugees were taken to the tiny Island after their boats were intercepted.

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney was a founding member of the #kidsoffnauru campaign which began in August to pressure political leaders to release children from detention.

“The situation of children in ongoing detention should concern every Australian"

“The situation of children in ongoing detention should concern every Australian,” Dr Davies said, echoing comments he had made in 2015 after the Human Rights Commission Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention.

“We know that the overwhelming majority of children suffer considerable trauma in custody – there is no safe level of exposure when it concerns children in detention.”

In October, a group of 6000 doctors and health professionals called on the Federal Government to immediately release the children, citing serious mental and physical health concerns.

These included depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, with significant levels of self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, including children as young as nine. Medical reports also say the children are at risk of abuse and neglect.

Nauru is a tiny island the size of Melbourne Airport and children in detention there have recently witnessed lip-stitching, self-immolation and other self-harm. Three refugees in Nauru have died by suicide. There are limited places to play because of unshaded, hot phosphate rock and the fear of wild dogs on the island.

The Archbishop’s backing for the campaign includes his long-standing call for parents and children to be removed from detention, together.

“It would only cause further heartache for families to be separated from each other at a time when they need each other the most," he said.


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