Four years ago, the former Rudd Government reintroduced offshore processing and announced that people who travel by boat to seek protection in Australia would will never be settled in this country.
This policy, coupled with prolonged mandatory detention, has been maintained by successive governments in the face of extensive evidence of the harm and suffering that it causes to children, their families, and people seeking our help.
The harsh conditions in detention, isolation, prolonged uncertainty and a lack of hope have had a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of these people, particularly children.
The majority of these people have been recognised as refugees. The Australian government owes them protection and safety now. Whilst a resettlement deal with the US was announced more than 8 months ago, not a single person has been resettled, and it is likely the deal will not provide safety for all.
These innocent people want nothing but hope and a brighter future for their children. It’s time to stop punishing them for risking their lives in that search.
Refugees on Nauru and Manus Island can no longer remain in limbo - Prime Minister Turnbull should immediately bring them to safety in Australia while they await resettlement in the US or other until a safe and sustainable alternative can be secured.