Jesuit Social Services has called for refugees and people seeking asylum currently on Nauru to be brought to Australia, joining the Australian Catholic Bishops Council, Amnesty International and many other people of goodwill in a growing chorus of support for such a move.
Further, Jesuit Social Services has pledged its support as part of a broader Catholic network including health, welfare and education to help care for all those on both Nauru and Manus Island currently seeking protection in Australia.
Amnesty’s recent report details instances of self-harm and the abuse of children and adults on Nauru, including a guard throwing a rock at the head of a five year-old boy, multiple instances of self-immolation, and the ingestion of washing powder to self-harm. It follows a report by ABC’s Four Corners entitled The Forgotten Children, which uses secretly recorded footage from Nauru to shed light on the traumatising conditions for the more than 100 children on the island.
“It has become impossible for the people of Australia to stand by and allow these atrocities to occur in our name,” said Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards.
”We call on the Australian Government to immediately take action to bring the men, women and children currently seeking asylum and living on Nauru and Manus Island to our shores for processing.
“We offer our own services in coordination with other Catholic service providers and institutions to care for these people.”
The offer of support comes after the leadership of the Catholic Church, the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, released a statement pledging a coordinated response from the catholic community and also called on the Federal government to immediately close offshore detention centres and bring all those residing there to Australia.
“The Australian Government can no longer justify a policy of cruelty and inhumane treatment of people under the pretence of ‘saving lives’.
“What we are seeing in Nauru is the systematic destruction of people’s spirits and hope for a better life. It is time to #BringThemHere.”
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