Politics

Almost 6000 Doctors Have Signed A Letter Calling On The PM To Get #KidsOffNauru

Here's a list of all the experts our government is ignoring in favour of torturing kids.

Almost 6000 doctors have signed an open letter to Scott Morrison calling for him to get kids off Nauru.

Close to 6000 doctors have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling for him to act urgently to get kids off Nauru, in the latest escalation of the medical community’s desperate campaign to get the government to do the right thing.

If it sounds like you’ve heard this news before, you have — this letter follows a letter sent to Scott Morrison last month by the president of the Australian Medical Association, who called the situation on Nauru as “a humanitarian emergency requiring urgent intervention”. Just last week, Médecins Sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders) released a statement after being kicked off Nauru by the Nauruan government. In that statement, the organisation wrote that there is “nothing humanitarian about saving people from sea only to leave them in an open-air prison”, and that “this policy should be stopped immediately and should not be replicated by any government”.

The AMA, MSF and 6000 doctors are not alone. A month ago the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, used her maiden speech to slam Australia’s offshore detention policy as “an affront to the protection of human rights”. This week, the head of the International Committee for the Red Cross will visit Canberra to share concerns about Australia’s treatment of refugees.

These concerns aren’t new, either. If it feels like you’ve been reading about this for a while, you have. Two years ago, almost to the day, global humanitarian group Amnesty International wrote that Australia’s offshore detention regime on Nauru was clearly “a deliberate policy to inflict harm on refugees”, describing it as a clear breach of international human rights law. Also two years ago, Save The Children wrote to then Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton to outline the harm children were suffering on Nauru.

This is not even a complete list (there’s one here, and it’s enormous), but any one of these organisations should have been enough. We have the UNHCR, Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Committee for the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Save The Children, the Australian Medical Association and 6000 doctors all calling for an urgent response to a humanitarian emergency that is putting children’s lives at risk.

All of these groups are qualified, professional, respected, and experienced on the issue of treating traumatised kids facing grave health risks. The Australian government is none of these things, and yet it keeps refusing to act. Our Prime Minister has a little model boat on his desk celebrating the policy these groups are criticising. How many experts will it take for the Australian government to do the right thing? How many deaths?


If you’re looking for something to do to help after reading this, call your MP and let them know this is urgent. MSF has also started a petition on Change.org for members of the public who want to support their calls for the immediate evacuation of all asylum seekers and refugees from Nauru and for an end to the Australian offshore detention policy. 

You can find more instructions on easy ways to help get #KidsOffNauru here.