Best interests of the child must come first, UN child rights committee reminds Australia

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has reminded the Australian authorities that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration when taking decisions about the placement and care of all children, including those who are seeking asylum. The committee issued the statement in response to an Australian High Court decision that ruled the government’s role in detention on Nauru is lawful. The decision paved the way for 34 babies born in Australia – and a further 54 children – to be transferred from the Australian mainland to facilities on Nauru.

State governments, hospitals and schools raise support for #LetThemStay campaign

A national campaign to prevent the transfer of asylum seekers from the Australian mainland to Nauru has received widespread public support. In an unprecedented move, the Premiers of most Australian states called on the Federal government to allow children and their families to stay in Australia, and offered to take responsibility for their housing, education and welfare. Meanwhile, Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital staff refused to release 1-year-old ‘Baby Asha’ from their care until she was guaranteed appropriate care in the community. While she has now been transferred to community care, the government remains adamant it will transfer all asylum seekers to Nauru when the reasons for their transfer to Australia (such as medical care) have been addressed.