OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - "Let us bring them to safety": the Church next to Nauru refugee children

Monday, 19 November 2018 migrants   refugees   children   childhood  

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - There are over 40 refugee children detained by the Australian government on the island of Nauru in inhumane conditions: to draw the attention of Australian politicians and public opinion on this serious situation, the Australian Church, as reported in an a note sent to Agenzia Fides, offers full support to the "Kids Off Nauru" campaign, promoted by World Vision Australia on the occasion of the International Day of the Rights of the Child and Adolescent, promoted by the United Nations and scheduled for 20 November.
Nauru, an island of about twenty square kilometers located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is home to a refugee camp where migrants and asylum seekers are transferred and detained in inhumane conditions in Australia after being rejected: according to the note, the refugee children present on the island live in a state of despair and many of them attempt suicide to end their physical and psychological suffering.
To respond to this emergency, the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, an organism of the Episcopal Conference, along with 60 other organizations, signed an inter-confessional letter addressed to the Prime Minister and the opposition leader, underlining the seriousness of the situation and ask to transfer them to Australia by 20 November together with their families.
The children "were traumatized, torn from their homes and protagonists of dangerous journeys. We cannot be a nation that increases their trauma, which moves away or remains indifferent. Now is the time to bring these children and their families to safety in Australia", commented Mgr. Vincent Long, president of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.
Since 2013, the Australian Conservative Government has adopted the "No Way" policy, based on the total closure towards migrants: the coasts are guarded by a massive deployment of naval units and those arriving by ship will never have the right to settle legally in the country guaranteed. Some migrants are transferred to their country of origin, while others obtain permits valid only for Papua New Guinea or the island of Nauru. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 19/11/2018)