Last year, communities across the country stood with people seeking asylum to demand our leaders #LetThemStay – and the government had no choice but to back down on its threats to send people seeking protection in Australia back to harm on Nauru and Manus Island.
But now it’s happening again – the Immigration Minister has confirmed that he wants to force around 400 people seeking asylum, including families with babies born in Australia, back into Australia’s offshore processing system or back to danger in countries where they face persecution.
This decision is about politics not people. These families are living in our communities, building their lives. There are kids who are in our classrooms around the country who now face incredible uncertainty. They are confused and afraid.
Some of those affected are babies and children who were born in Australia, took their first steps here, who spoke their first words here. The government must not send them back to harm. Write to your Mp and tell them to #LetThemStay.
We can’t let Samuel be sent to Nauru
Samuel (pictured above) is a sweet toddler. He was born in Darwin and now he lives in Sydney. On the weekends, his mum takes him to the park to play with other kids. But something sets Samuel apart from most toddlers – the Australian government wants to send him to Nauru.
Samuel’s parents are seeking asylum. Before Samuel was born, the Australian government kept them in the detention centre on Nauru. They were brought to Darwin for medical treatment and, a year ago, they were moved to a house in Sydney where they could finally start rebuilding their lives.
But now, the Australian government has plans to cut their financial support and force them out of their current accommodation. Ultimately, the government wants to force them – and around 400 others like them – to uproot their lives and be placed in Australia’s offshore processing system or be sent to countries where they face a real risk of persecution.
5 reasons why Samuel shouldn’t get on a plane to Nauru
1. He will be exposed to extreme suffering
Save the Children knows only too well what this would do to Samuel and his parents. We worked with children and families on Nauru for two years, and our staff were witness to the devastating psychological and physical harm that asylum seekers and refugees endure.
2. He will be deprived of basic human rights
If you were able to talk to Samuel’s parents, the first thing you realise is – this could be me. It could be my life that was turned upside down by war. It could be me, with my own young son who is at school as I write this, or a young mother with a new baby. No one should be deprived of their human rights like this.
3. He will face a future without hope
Samuel’s family are safe in Australia now, but our government wants to send them to a life of hopelessness, misery and uncertainty. It's just so very wrong.
4. He may be exposed to sexual, mental and physical abuse
We know from experience that many – if not all – of the children living in Nauru’s detention centre have endured prolonged suffering. Many have faced sexual, mental and physical harm when they were on Nauru.
5. His family has suffered enough
Samuel’s family and others like theirs have survived the horrors of war and persecution. They have left everything they knew to run for their lives. All they want is a safe home for their children, which would be all I'd want too. Samuel’s family are terrified of being sent back to horrors they know too well. They have suffered enough.
Join us in standing with people seeking asylum in our community. Sign up and join the movement to #LetThemStay.