Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Nauru children to be relocated to Australia by the end of 2018

Nauru children to be relocated to Australia by the end of 2018

On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there were 50 children left on the island and that his intention was to get that to zero, with 200 children in Australia having already been transferred.

While aid agencies have called for the removal of the more than 1,000 refugees held for more than five years, Morrison is under vast pressure to resettle 40 children now held on Nauru amid warnings they are suffering from declining mental health.

More children could end up in detention on Nauru.

Activists said there were now 38 children on the island.

"I would say millions of refugees have gone to the U.S. and may have died trying because it's the land of opportunity and one of the greatest countries in the world", he said.

Dutton's comments came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that his government is working "quietly" to remove the remaining children on Nauru, where they were sent as part of Australia's strict immigration policies.

Under a deal with former American president Barack Obama, 439 people of a potential 1,250 have so far been resettled from Manus and Nauru to the United States.

About 700 asylum seekers are in Australia for medical treatment, mostly living in the community, but some in detention because of concerns about their identity or other issues.

Asylum Seekers Resource Center Director Jana Favero said 47 children, plus 88 adult family members, had been brought to Australia from Nauru in the past two weeks, leaving 38 children behind.

It is unclear whether children will be joined by their families.

"Children as young as seven and 12 are experiencing repeated incidents of suicide attempts, dousing themselves in petrol, and becoming catatonic", the report said. "We have seen children not eating or drinking for days, in a comatose state".

"It is good news that the children will be taken off Nauru, something the sector has been calling on for many years".

The Morrison government has indicated it plans to get all children off Nauru by Christmas this year.

The government fears that refugees could use New Zealand as a backdoor to Australia, since New Zealand citizens are free to live and work in Australia for as long as they like.

"There are hardly any children in Nauru and in New Guinea and we expect that by the end of this year there will be none", Brandis said.

A YouGov Gallaxy national poll taken last month found 79 percent of respondents wanted the government to take up New Zealand's offer to accept 150 children and their families.

"Let's not forget, this news is completely opposite to what the government has been saying was possible, and they are still continuing to fight medical transfer cases in the courts", Neumann said, referring to the government's opposition to allowing adult asylum seekers into Australia for medical treatment.

"So yes, the government is very much trying to take our prime minister in Australia, Scott Morrison, continues to lie to the Australian public".

Protesters at the "Kids off, everyone off; close Manus and Nauru".

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