Tuesday 23 October 2018


The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has called on the government to stop playing politics with children’s lives and urgently bring refugee children on Nauru and their families to safety.


Refugee Council of Australia spokesperson Kelly Nicholls says the organisation is relieved that politicians on all sides have recognised that the remaining children need to get off Nauru, but warned that no more time should be wasted.


“Doctors have repeatedly said that the situation for children on Nauru is critical. This is a humanitarian emergency and children’s lives must not be left in limbo whilst political bargaining continues in Canberra,” Ms Nicholls said.


RCOA’s comments come following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s dismissal of Labor’s conditions to a New Zealand deal today.


“We hear that refugee agencies in New Zealand have not received information from their government about the arrival of refugees – it’s clear that action is not going to be taken quickly even when a deal is agreed. Refugee children need to be brought to safety in Australia immediately and this needs to happen before the week is out.


“It’s ridiculous the idea that helping 52 children and their families will open the floodgates and result in a surge of boats arriving in Australia. This hasn’t happened with the around 200 children who have already been brought here and are living in the Australian community nor has it happened after refugees were sent to the US.


“Prime Minister Scott Morrison needs to stop playing politics with children’s lives and urgently bring these children to safety,” she said.


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.