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Save the Children supports Urgent Medical Treatment Bill
05 February 2019

Save the Children welcomes the introduction of the Urgent Medical Treatment Bill to urgently evacuate sick asylum seekers to Australia from offshore detention such as the facilities on Manus Island and Nauru. 

The bill, introduced by Independent Member for Wentworth Dr Kerryn Phelps, would require the urgent evacuation of asylum seeker children from Nauru for medical treatment. 

It would also require the urgent medical transfer of any asylum seeker who is ill and unable to be treated offshore, on the recommendation of two or more doctors. 

Save the Children Director of Policy and International Programs Mat Tinkler welcomed the Bill and cross-bench efforts to force government action on this critical humanitarian issue.

“As a child rights organisation it is abhorrent to know that children are still in limbo on Nauru, suffering from adverse physical and mental health outcomes as a direct result,” Mr Tinkler said.

“We commend the cross-bench for taking such a strong stand on children’s rights and urge the Government to urgently prioritise the resettlement of all refugees in a third country or in Australia.

“We urge all Members of Parliament to work together to ensure we get an expeditious outcome for children. We should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

Since August, 170,034 everyday Australians and organisations have signed a petition demanding all kids be removed from Nauru, highlighting that locking up children is never the answer. 

“There is never a justification to keep innocent children locked up, denying them of their health, happiness and future prospects,” Mr Tinkler said.

“Enough is enough. We cannot allow this gross human rights abuse to go on. We must get all kids off Nauru now.” 

There are 12 children still languishing in effective detention on Nauru, despite demands from the community and doctors for all to be removed by the missed deadline of 20 November – Universal Children’s Day.

For interviews, call Alex Sampson on 0429 943 027

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