Save the Children has welcomed the Nauruan government’s decision to make the immigration processing centre on Nauru open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
“The round the clock opening of the immigration centre on Nauru will make a positive difference in the lives of those previously detained at the centre. Now these children and families who have sought asylum but previously been locked up, will instead be able to move about the island freely and when they choose,” Save the Children Acting CEO Mat Tinkler said.
Save the Children has provided education, recreation and child protection services for children and adults detained at the regional processing centre on Nauru since 2013. The child rights agency also works with asylum seeker and refugee children in the wider Asia-Pacific region and across the globe.
“Save the Children has long been calling for an immediate end to the practice of mandatory and prolonged detention of children, both in Australia and in its offshore detention centres. We have seen first-hand the harm that this environment causes on children’s emotional and mental wellbeing. This is an important step in the right direction and we commend the Government of Nauru for this initiative,” said Mr Tinkler.
The Nauruan government has also announced that it is seeking to increase the number of refugee determination hand downs in the coming days with new permanent accommodation being constructed for families and single refugees.
“The increase in refugee determinations is a further welcome step by the Government of Nauru, however, now, more than ever, a permanent and sustainable solution is needed to provide clarity and a sense of hope for the future for those on Nauru,” said Mr Tinkler.
Save the Children continues to call on the Australian government to identify sustainable third country resettlement options to provide a durable solution for those found to be refugees in need of permanent protection. Countries identified should have a proven track record in providing protection and adequate access to services for refugees and asylum seekers.