Child rights organisation Plan International is strongly urging both sides of Parliament to ensure all children on Nauru are brought to Australia or resettled in New Zealand as soon as possible.
The organisation’s CEO Susanne Legena said while she welcomed the news that 11 children had recently been brought to the country for urgent medical attention, the situation for around 50 children who remain on the island remains dire.
“The lives of children are at stake, and they must come first in all political decisions at this stage. That’s why we welcome recent moves to resolve this political deadlock, despite our objection to discriminatory conditions imposed on any refugees who are resettled in New Zealand.”
Ms Legena said while the organisation opposes offshore processing, pressure on all sides was building and it was time for decisive action to protect innocent lives.
“I would emphasise that these transfers must be permanent – the uncertainty and insecurity that has pervaded the lives of these children and their families for years now must end.
“Whatever happens with any bill before Parliament, any children transferred for medical attention must not be forced to return to Nauru, but allowed to settle in Australia or another safe country so that they can recover and rebuild their lives.
“As an NGO we are politically impartial, and are not in the business of taking sides with any political party. We call on all politicians to do whatever they can to relieve the suffering of these children by working together to find a solution to this crisis.”
About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.
We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.
We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.
We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.