Asylum seeker children evacuated from Nauru due to health issues

November 24, 2013

A group of unaccompanied child asylum seekers has been transferred from Nauru to Brisbane amid concerns about their mental health and fears they may try to self-harm.

The medical evacuation, which began on Friday, has occurred in part because the Nauruan government has expressed safety concerns about the children.

Further, it is understood that one of the children being medically evacuated is a teenage girl who was only sent to Nauru three days ago. Fairfax Media has been told by well-placed sources one of the girls had attempted suicide on Christmas Island in recent weeks and had also been self-harming but that did not prevent her deportation from Nauru.

It is understood that four children – one boy and three girls – were living on the Pacific island and were not going to school.


A spokeswoman for the Nauruan government confirmed that three children had been transferred off the island on Friday. She was unsure what had happened with the fourth unaccompanied child asylum seeker.

The Nauruan Justice Minister is the legal guardian of unaccompanied minors.

A spokesman for the Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, said: ”Any health transfers occur in accordance with standing policies. The government’s policy is that there are no exceptions to offshore processing. Health services are constantly reviewed to ensure they are provided to the appropriate standard.”

Meanwhile, the independent schools sector has called for asylum seeker children denied education on Christmas Island to be urgently brought to the mainland.

Up to 433 asylum seeker children interred at Christmas Island’s detention centres are being prevented from going to school as the centres swell with asylum seekers.

According to the most recent figures, as the Manus Island and Nauru centres fill, there were , 2217 asylum seekers, including 433 children – 76 of them unaccompanied.

The Immigration Minister’s office referred questions about the children to a November 8 press conference, in which he said no decision had been made about the fate of the children.

”These issues are not insurmountable and I am sure, with continued consultation, that we will be able to put in place appropriate arrangements to meet all of our obligations,” Mr Morrison said. ”And I should stress that no final decisions have been taken on how that matter will be addressed.”




Filed under Detention Centers, PNG/Pacific Solution

2 responses to “Asylum seeker children evacuated from Nauru due to health issues

  1. The government knows that trauma at a young age hardwires the brain to an extent that it is near impossible to reverse. It is deeply concerning that there are mental health issues caused by our treatment of asylum seekers in detention centres. This is no sudden realisation and Australia should be derided for the abuses they are inflicting on these kids.

    You can support asylum seekers by playing the Citizenship Board & App Game to test your chances of gaining citizenship in your own country, and raise awareness of the rights of asylum seekers at the same time. All profits go to agencies helping asylum seekers gaining refugee status.

  2. Hermes

    What about the mental health issues of hundreds of thousands of natural citizens across the country that are not being provided appropriate funding for adequate treatment?? Most of the current 100,000 homeless Australians suffer from some form of mental health issue. What do you propose should be done about this? – or are you only interested in asylum seekers, as when you represent them there is something in it for you?? ie, Government funding – Asylum Seeker Industry Gravy Train – one and all, climb aboard!! Note: All the government funding that goes into the asylum seeker industry is being sucked out of services that should be provided to natural Australian citizens in the first instance. In other words, natural Australian citizens are forced unfairly to compete with illegal boat arrivals for adequate health and welfare services. How is that fair and equitable??

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