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ASYLUM SEEKER AND REFUGEE CHILDREN LIVING IN DETENTION LIKE CONDITIONS ON NAURU

The Department of Immigration only reports on asylum seekers on Nauru who are awaiting processing – meaning their figures do not include those children already proven to be refugees.

The most recent reports we have from Nauru state that*:

Asylum seeker and refugee children living in detention like conditions on Nauru: 85

These children range from 0-17 years old.

*Please note these statistics change frequently, due to the lack of detailed information provided by the Australian government it is hard to know the exact numbers and ages of refugee and asylum seeker children on Nauru.

ASYLUM SEEKER CHILDREN IN DETENTION IN AUSTRALIA

(July 31, 2018 figures from the Department of Immigration)

Asylum seekers in community detention: 386

Asylum seekers living in the Australian community, ‘in limbo’ on bridging visas: 17,029

TIME ASYLUM SEEKERS HELD IN DETENTION

July 31, 20187 – average of 446 days spent in detention.

COST

According to the 2016 Unicef & Save the Children report, between the 2013 and 2016 financial years the Australian government sent $9.5 billion on their refugee deterrence policies, including offshore detention on Nauru and Manus Island as well as the turn back policy.  

Of this, around $1 billion is spent on offshore detention annually, compared to the $904 million spent on environmental protect and $1.2 billion on legal services across the nation. Between 2017 and 2018 every detainee on Nauru and Manus Island has cost the government approximately $346,178, consistent with the  National Commission of Audit in 2014, which suggested every detainee on Nauru and Manus Island has cost the government approximately $400,000 every year (See http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?page_id=3447 ). Detention in Australia costs $102,880 per year. On Nauru, Refugees receive $110 a fortnight, couples receive $200 with an added $60 for every dependent child (See https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/05/australias-border-protection-policies-cost-taxpayers-4bn-last-year).

In stark contrast, when refugees live in the community while their claims are being processed costs the government  just $12,000  per year. This figure is even further reduced when refugees are permitted to work (See http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?page_id=3447).

 

Between June 2015 and March 2017 the government spent a total of $55m resettling 7 refugees in the Cambodia. As of August 25 2018, just one of the seven remain in Cambodia (See https://www.asyluminsight.com/statistics/#.W8aTXxMzZmA and https://www.asrc.org.au/resources/fact-sheet/cambodia-agreement/ ).

REFUGEE CONVENTION

(signed by Australia in 1954)

According to Article 33 of the Refugee Convention, the fundamental principle of “non-refoulement”, asylum seekers must not be sent somewhere they will be persecuted, may suffer, be degraded or tortured. Under this same article, refugees cannot be ‘expelled’ overseas, unless they are considered a national security or public order threat.

According to Article 31, a nation cannot penalise asylum seekers for the means by which they enter the country, including if they enter or live in the nation without permission. They must also not restrict movement.

Additionally, asylum seekers must not be returned to a place where they fear threats to their lives or freedom.

CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

(signed by Australia in 1990)

According to this Convention, the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in all decisions that affect them.

Children who come in to a country as refugees should have the same rights as children who are born in that country

Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect.

COMMENTS

“It’s child abuse. Putting children in detention is child abuse. So our government is abusing children in our name. After 5 days on Nauru, I went home and had nightmares.”

Dr David Isaacs, Sydney pediatrician, 7.30 Report, August 13, 2015

“I speak to you as an American Jew. I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime. I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned in my life is that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful, and the most tragic problem is silence.”

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, The March on Washington, 1963 (from a documentary Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent, USA, 2014)

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