Plan International Australia is urging federal politicians to back an independent member’s bill to speed up medical transfers to Australia of sick refugees detained on Nauru and Manus Island.
The child rights organisation also welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement that all refugee and asylum seeker children will soon be off Nauru, after a significant public campaign by dozens of organisations, including Plan International, independent MPs and medical professionals.
Plan International Australia CEO Susanne Legena said the Kids Off Nauru campaign tapped into a growing sense of outrage in the Australian community around the plight of vulnerable children, which compelled the Australian Government to act.
“These children and their families have been through a horrific ordeal, spending years trapped on a remote island and stuck in limbo with no certainty for their futures,” she said.
“Unfortunately, while the government has got the children off Nauru, they have failed to provide clear answers for these families, insisting they will never permanently settle in Australia.
“This torture must end. The government must rule out sending these children back to Nauru, and urgently find permanent resettlement outcomes for them and more than 1,000 adults who remain on Nauru and Manus Island.
“We must take responsibility for people seeking asylum in Australia, and uphold our international humanitarian obligations. This means ceasing the inhumane policy of offshore detention, a cruel experiment which has left thousands of people with scars that will take a long time to heal.
“In the lead up to the federal election we look forward to all major parties proposing durable and humane asylum seeker policy solutions that reflect the compassionate, caring Australia we know we can be.”
About Plan International
Plan International works in more than 75 countries to help create a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Our local office, Plan International Australia funds programs to support children in more than 25 countries, as well as sponsorship programs across the federation.