Nauru regional processing facility. Photo by russavia, shared under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
More than 700 people are currently in detention on Nauru, and that number includes pregnant women, babies and children. They live in tents without air conditioning in the summer heat and the children have no playground, nothing but gravel to play with and no idea how long they will be imprisoned.
Do you think something should be done for these children? If so, what?
I would like to see an end to children being kept in detention. At the very least better facilities are needed than those available on Nauru and Christmas Island where there isn't proper healthcare available to children and pregnant women and where people in desperate need of treatment have faced unnacceptable delays. For example, an epileptic child whose seizures were increasing was kept in detention for two months and a baby with a defective pacemaker had to wait two months to leave the island to receive care in Australia.
If you're concerned about this issue write to your local MP or find out more about the issue. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has some interesting fact sheets.
In the short term one practical thing you can do is send toys to Nauru so the children will at least have some comfort while they are there. The Greens have a program to do just that (copy and paste the link below into your browser).
Yes, yes and yes. I have horrified by our asylum seeker policy overall but to put children in what is essentially a jail is horrific. I got some toy to Sarah Hanson Youngs' appeal but want to do more. I see lots of letter writing to MP's in my future.
Yes it is less than sub-human conditions, and SHAME ON AUSTRALIA!!!
That is a dreadful way to treat children.
I also think the mothers should be with them...It's hard to believe we here in OZ allow it to happen.
Thank you for telling me in detail...what I can do.
I will most certainly.
Any situation in which people or animals are suffering is a cause for concern. If anything can be done, then it should be done to ease that suffering, but charity only goes as far as resources and money will allow. Just about everywhere is asking for donations, and people can only give so much to so many causes.
Although I think it is awful the conditions some people have to live in, I also recognise that if you get too upset about too many of these tragic cases, then you yourself will just break down.
Help where you can, when you can, and how you can, but don't over burden yourself with things that you cannot change.
I agree that there's no point overstretching your funds when it comes to giving money to charity. However, the situation in Nauru isn't in the category of "things you can't change"." If you don't think it should be that way there are things you can do (letter writing, petitions, protests) that don't involve giving money.
I only realised after posting this, that this is a situation taking place in Australia. That obviously makes it a more immediate issue for you, and something that can be dealt with. Sorry, I didn't realise that before.
The parents of the children impacted by a decision to pay criminals to facilitate a crime against Australian law should be held responsible for this situation.
They have the freedom to return to the country of origin at any time.
What is of much more concern to me are the millions of genuine refugees stuck in tent cities in the desert of Jordon without sewer and with only limited water and food. This wonderful country of Jordon has opened up its land and is desperately trying to manage an impossible situation far worse than Nauru. Let us show concern for the real issues and stop the political ploy used by criminals to expand their profits
Perhaps when we complete the management process related to our borders the money we save can be redirected toward compassion for the real refugees suffering in Jordan.
Yes, technically they are free to return to persecution and possibly death. I certainly don't blame them for not wanting to do that, and punishing them for trying to survive and protect their children is utterly inhumane.
Quote from an asylum seeker from Ethiopia.
“I cannot go home because of what happened to me. I have no family left. I have no male protection. My father was arrested and my brothers too. The government is after me and my family. They can kill me. I wish sometimes I was dead.” (link in my answer above)
You mention genuine refugees. 90% of the asylum seekers who come to Australia are found to be genuine refugees.
There are viable alternatives to mandatory detention. If it's the money spent that concerns you, community settlement is actually more cost effective. They would then be able to actually contribute to the community. It would drop the cost from about $450,000 a year to about $30,000 per person. I feel for the refugees in Jordan too but their situation does not justify mistreating other refugees.
I work with refugees and one in particular I have become friendly with. She is far younger than I am and a delight to spend time with.
She is here with her whole family and is in home detention (rather than leave them in the camp with young children, the Red Cross puts them up in a house).
She is adamant that she liked it in the camp as at least she had people she could talk to all day. Now in the community, she doesnt often meet people she can talk to.
I have also worked with people who were in Naaru and various other camps, and they all say there was nothing wrong with them. They are so grateful to be here, and away from the everyday dangers of their home country, that they do not mind a camp while waiting for a Visa.
I have been told several times, that the ones who make trouble in the camps are generally not the genuine refugees.
So, no basically I do not think something should be done for these children, as if they are genuine refugees, they have a better, safer life in the camps than in their own countries.