Open statement calling for immediate action to guarantee the health of asylum seeker children and their families on Nauru

Central to our work at the Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, Orygen National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, the Black Dog Institute and the Brain and Mind Centre, is respect for the human rights of all people, regardless of their background and circumstance. We strive to uphold the principles of dignity, equality and respect.  

We are hugely concerned about the violation of basic human rights within the Nauru detention centre, and the lack of care being provided for those currently detained at Nauru.

As mental health researchers, we are well aware of the impact that such conditions are likely to have on asylum seekers. These are vulnerable children and adults in great need of care. Consequently, we call on the Government to act immediately to guarantee the health and wellbeing of all asylum seekers on Nauru, particularly the children and their families.  We urge for the provision of appropriate health care for all those detained on Nauru. We believe that independent and well-trained health professionals should be allowed to have ongoing access to the asylum seekers on Nauru, in order to provide adequate care for their physical and mental wellbeing. If this is not possible within the confines of Nauru, the asylum seekers and their family members should be treated onshore in Australia, for as long as is necessary for their recovery.

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