September 21, 2015
FIRST REFUGEE BABY BORN ON NAURU BUT THERE’S NO FUTURE
A Rohingya baby became the first baby born to a refugee family on
Nauru on Friday 18 September.
The baby girl, Nourkayas, was 3kg, and mother (Mama Citi) and baby are
reported doing well (baby photo available on request). Nourkayas is
the third child for the Rohingya family that already includes a 7
year-old boy and a 3 year-old girl.
The baby on Nauru after the mother refused to be transferred to Port
Moresby for the birth.
“We are very happy that all has gone well for mother and baby; but it
is a risky precedent. The fact that refugees are sent to PNG and
asylum seeker mothers are sent to Australia to have their babies says
that Australian authorities do not believe that Nauru is safe,” said
Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“The Australian government has a responsibility for all babies born to
asylum seeker and refugee families; all pregnant women should be
brought to Australia to give birth.
“We wish the family well, but we know the conditions on Nauru – no
education, and no resettlement – put a dark cloud over their future.”
The birth will also seriously add to the family’s difficulties on
Nauru. In the Nibok camp, family housing is stifling hot converted
shipping containers, with only a small fan for ventilation.
The heat makes the accommodation unbearable; while the frequent water
and electricity shortages make the situation impossible.
“All the problems of looking after a new baby are magnified.
Sterilising bottles for example could become a nightmare,” said
“There needs to be consistent policy from the government. All
mothers-to-be should be brought, with their families, to Australia to
give birth, where there is proper medical facilities to ensure the
health of mother and baby.
“Any birth is risky and Nauru hospital has limited staff, limited
resources and no specialists. Any complication would risk the
well-being of mother and baby. It is too big a risk to take.
“If the government had the best interests of mother and child at
heart, they would not be on Nauru in the first place.”
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713