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Commission calls for seriously ill Nauru children to be transferred

Asylum Asylum Seekers and Refugees

The Australian Human Rights Commission is calling on the Federal Government to urgently transfer any seriously unwell asylum seeker children – and their families – from Nauru to Australia. 

The Commission notes several recent cases where the Federal Court of Australia has consistently found the health care services currently available on Nauru did not meet the needs of children with complex physical and mental health conditions.

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell said: “The safety and wellbeing of children should always be the priority when considering every aspect of decisions that affect them.

“These obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child apply in every setting that involves children.

“We are concerned that delays in providing treatment may compromise the health of children and potentially place their lives at risk.”

Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said: “Under international law, Australia and Nauru share joint responsibility for ensuring that the human rights of children and adults subject to third country processing are adequately protected.

“Access to healthcare is a basic human right, regardless of your immigration status.

The Commissioners recommend, in cases where a child’s life may be at risk, transfers to Australia should occur as a matter of urgency and without delay.


Photo credit: World Vision.

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