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MEDIA RELEASE

February 3, 2016.

While the High Court today found that Australia’s detention camp on Nauru was saved by last-minute retrospective legislation, the moral questions remain for the Government, says the Refugee Council of Australia.

Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia said, “The High Court finding today does not compel the Government to send these innocent and vulnerable people, including 33 babies born here in this country, to this isolated detention camp in the middle of the Pacific. The decision today only shows that the legislation Parliament passed in June 2015, to save itself from this lawsuit was successful.

“We urge the Government to consider the best interests of these children, and their families and do everything in their power to ensure their safety and protection, by keeping them in Australia.

“Despite the extraordinary efforts the Australian Government has gone to in attempting to keep the horrifying abuse in Australia’s offshore detention camps a secret, we know that people sent there by Australia cannot have their safety assured. The decision from the High Court today clearly shows the Australian Government is responsible for the operation and therefore the care of those within these detention camps.

“Cases of abuse, including sexual abuse and rape of children and even murder, have occurred in Australia’s offshore detention camps and sending these 33 babies and their families and carers back to these environments where they will suffer indefinitely would be callous and cold.

“The fate of these 33 babies born here in Australia, and 54 other children and their families are balanced now in the hands of the Prime Minister and the Immigration Minister. We urge them to put politics aside and act with leadership and compassion to allow these children and their carers to have security and hope.”

 

More information contact Tim O’Connor 0488 035 535