Media Release 31/10 | Children from Nauru, detained in Australia and not going to school

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison claims the Coalition government has got children out of detention on the mainland and is ‘quietly’ getting children off Nauru. This is a lie. Not only has the Morrison government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to fight children on Nauru coming to Australia, but many of those children brought to Australia by the courts are being held in detention here and not going to school” said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective


Long standing refugee advocate Pamela Curr says  “There are now 19 children from Nauru held in detention at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) centre in Broadmeadows. They are held in 10 units at the MITA compound section called the BRP- Broadmeadows Residential Precinct. The children and their parents are living in small units under guard.


No children are allowed to go to school. The children are asking when and why.


There are 4 babies in MITA including twins in a family of 7. They were separated until last week with pregnant Mum here and father and children left behind in Nauru. 


Life in the compound is very difficult for children as little to do. They are  only allowed outside the door of the unit with a parent and officer.


School is absolutely necessary for the children to survive as at moment no talk of movement to community is being offered.”


Pamela Curr concluded “These children and their parents are coming out of Nauru hell after 5 years should not be punished further by being put into appalling conditions in Australia. Some children are in hospitals and the families are then split with one parent at hospital and one in camp with other children and only allowed to visit when Serco and ABF decide. The hypocrisy of a government which has just sanctimoniously apologised to the survivors of previous child abuse could not be more stark”


Chris Breen concluded “There remain around 45 children on Nauru, Morrison could ‘quietly’ get them off today, but refuses to provide a timeline to do so. If Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called to bring the children to Australia, and would back Andrew Wilkie’s private members bill do that it would raise the pressure on Morrison, and have a real chance of passing with support of dissident Coalition MPs. What harms children also harms adults, ending the plight of the children on Nauru must be the first step to permanently closing the camps and bringing all the refugees and asylum seekers here.”


Call Pamela Curr 041-751-7075

or Chris Breen 0403 013 183 for further comment