To: Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton. Oppositon Leader, Bill Shorten, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Shayne Neumann, Leader of the Greens, Richard Di Natale and Greens Immigration Spokesperson, Nick McKim

Don't force refugee families back into tents on Nauru

Don't force refugee families back into tents on Nauru

Dear Ministers and Senators,
There are a small number of families who are living in OPC1 in the Detention Centre on Nauru with small babies and other children. They have been told in no uncertain terms that they will be sent back to OPC3 to live in the mouldy tents in the family compound, despite their children being very young. Four of the babies have only just turned 1. These families have been living in OPC1 since their babies were born in the hospital on Nauru. They have also been told that if they don't 'volunteer' to leave OPC1 and return to OPC3 by the 20th of December that the Nauruan police will be called in to force them back to tents in OPC3.
Please don't force these families out of their accommodation in OPC1. Mouldy tents are not suitable accommodation for young children. Quite apart from rats, cockroaches and other vermin, there are illnesses that can result from sub standard accommodation. The only way to sterilise the water for these babies is through using kettles in the tents. This is how baby Asha suffered burns more than a year ago resulting in a medical transfer to Australia. A number of children have latent TB from living in this substandard accommodation and moving these families back into tents will expose the babies to harm.
Please ensure that these children and their families are not removed from OPC1 until they are resettled safely. There is no reason why they can't be resettled in Australia.
Please don't be Scrooge this Christmas.

Why is this important?

It is important that families, especially with young babies and children, are not forced back to the tents in OPC3. This accommodation is substandard and covered in mould. The toileting facilities also put people's health, safety and well being at risk in OPC3, with reports of sexual assaults and lack of privacy making this a particularly horrendous place to live. The four babies will be having their second Christmas in detention and for all people detained on Manus and Nauru, it will be their fourth Christmas in detention. The thought of police manhandling the families and children is particularly abhorrent. There is no reason why the families cannot stay in OPC1 where they are close to the IHMS clinic and have clean living quarters and toileting facilities. Babies have a safer place to learn how to crawl and walk in OPC1 than on sharp coral.
Mouldy tents are not suitable accommodation for young children. Quite apart from rats, cockroaches and other vermin, there are illnesses that can result from sub standard accommodation. The only way to sterilise the water for these babies is through using kettles in the tents. This is how baby Asha suffered burns more than a year ago resulting in a medical transfer to Australia. A number of children have latent TB from living in this substandard accommodation and moving these families back into tents will expose the babies to harm.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • If the refugees had been White Sth Africans escaping persecution the Aus Govt would be taking an entirely different approach. The confinement of the refugees on Naru is blatant racism
  • This shames us as a nation, as decent people, as basic human beings. We don't need to protect ourselves from threats real or imagined, by becoming cruel fascists. Not in my name.
  • I feel really sorry for the refugees on Manus & Nauru and wish they could all come to Australia permanently

Updates

2017-01-04 07:37:54 +1100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-12-07 06:38:58 +1100

500 signatures reached

2016-12-06 11:09:33 +1100

100 signatures reached

2016-12-06 09:40:21 +1100

50 signatures reached

2016-12-06 07:51:29 +1100

25 signatures reached

2016-12-06 02:11:34 +1100

10 signatures reached