Govt silence on child abuse in Nauru is shameful

National needs to show some moral backbone and speak out on the abuse of children held by the Australian Government in Nauru detention centres, the Green Party said today.

Documents published yesterday by the Guardian show the horrific scale of abuse in offshore detention centres on Nauru, where asylum seekers trying to reach Australia are being detained.

“It’s appalling that the National Government refuses to condemn the suffering that children fleeing war and persecution are experiencing under the Australian Government’s watch,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“John Key has claimed that human rights abuses in the Middle East compel us to send our troops overseas. If he truly cares about human rights, then he should speak out publically and raise this issue with Prime Minister Turnbull as a matter of priority.

“More than 50 percent of the reports of abuse, sexual abuse and self-harm relate to children, even though children make up only 18 percent of people being detained in Nauru.

“What’s worse is that we have known for a long time that the human rights situation for asylum seekers in Nauru is appalling. The United Nations raised serious concerns about conditions for refugees back in 2012, but our Government has remained silent.

“I think we really have to question what it says about New Zealand that we are prepared to stay silent on the systemic abuse of children in our Pacific backyard,” said Ms Davidson

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