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Friday, 12 August 2016 08:12

Nauru child abuse – “the government knew and did nothing”

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acrt logoThe Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce says the latest tragedy on Nauru is the direct result of the cruel refugee policy championed by both major political parties in Australia.

The Australian Churches’ Refugee Taskforce says the Nauru files released today corroborate previous allegations submitted to the government and the Moss Review as far back as 2014.

Misha Coleman, Executive Director of the Australian Churches’ Refugee Taskforce:

“The files released today corroborate the allegations made in letters from detainees which were smuggled out of the Nauru camp and given to the Taskforce in 2014. These were allegations that were completely ignored. They were a horrific red flag to the scale of abuse and the government did nothing.

"The government knew. It then did nothing to prevent the ongoing daily acts of abuse committed on children and women especially. The letters detailed a range of abuse cases including a rape and an alleged cover-up of that rape – it’s clear from the files released today that the situation has sunk to unholy depths.”

At the time, the Taskforce Chair called for a Royal Commission into the systemic and gross abuse of children, mums and dads occurring every day in these camps are funded by Australian taxpayers.
Taskforce Chair, The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt:

“We had called for a Royal Commission into the offshore camps after some of the key issues raised in the report were referred back to the Nauruan police, in which we have no confidence whatsoever.

“Today however, we’re calling on the Australian Government to immediately bring these innocent people from Nauru, here to Australia, and then to immediately establish a Royal Commission into these sorry offshore detention camps. In the same way that the government reacted swiftly and correctly to the expose of the abuse at Dondale Detention Centre, we call on the government to react swiftly and bring people here to Australia, out of harm’s way.”

Available for interview:
Rev’d Peter Catt: 0404 052 494
Misha Coleman: 0428 399 739

Read more about the work of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, which promotes a shared Christian vision of compassion and hospitality for asylum seekers and refugees.