MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday 1st November 2018

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) welcomes reports that the government has taken the advice of thousands of doctors and committed to removing all children off Nauru, by the end of year.

However RCOA spokesperson Kelly Nicholls says that the fact remains that 38 children woke up on Nauru this morning who cannot hold on for two more months.

“We welcome the brilliant news that these children will finally be brought to safety but they cannot wait until Christmas. The situation on Nauru is an emergency and needs to be treated as one. The government needs to stop stalling and use its power to remove all children immediately,” Ms Nicolls said.

“We must not forget that these children have been in detention for five long years and there have been unanimous medical reports that many are suffering with traumatic withdrawal syndrome. Their condition is deteriorating every single day they remain on the island.

“Two months could feel like a lifetime for many children who are in a catatonic state not eating, drinking or speaking. The situation on Nauru is critical and children need to be brought to Australia now for urgent medical treatment,” she said.

Despite this announcement, the Australian government is reportedly still going to the Federal Court on Friday to stall attempts to transfer critically ill children to Australia. The Refugee Council of Australia urges the government to follow today’s announcement with action and to drop any legal attempts to delay.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national peak body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them.

MEDIA CONTACT: Frankie Harrington on 0488 035 535 or media@refugeecouncil.org.au

Download a PDF version of this release here.