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Safety of children must be prime minister's priority

Save the Children Australia has today urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to put the safety and wellbeing of Australian children ahead of politics.
16 February 2021

Save the Children Australia has today urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to put the safety and wellbeing of Australian children ahead of politics. 

The leading child rights organization has made the call in response to the Prime Minister’s refusal to act on the plight of innocent Australia children, including two detained by Turkish authorities on the Syria border with their mother. 

43 Australian children, most under the age of 6, remain detained in camps in North East Syria because the Australian Government has repeatedly refused to repatriate them.

Deputy CEO of Save the Children Australia, Mat Tinkler urged the Prime Minister to immediately act to ensure Australian children are protected from harm. 
 
“The Prime Minister of New Zealand is dead right, the safety and wellbeing of the young children involved must be the priority,” said Mr Tinkler.
 
“They’ve already been through hell, through absolutely no fault of their own. 
 
“We know that there are families here in Australia ready to love and care for these young children.
 
“The Australian Government must take responsibility for its citizens, not shirk responsibility to other countries. 
 
“Our actions as a nation have left these two young children even more vulnerable than they already were. 
 
“The Australian Government must immediately act to repatriate Australian children and their mothers, including these two children born to an Australian mother.” 


Save the Children Australia previously warned that the Government’s changes to the Citizenship Act did not adequately protect the rights of Australian children. 

Australian women in al Roj camp have agreed to be subject to the most stringent control orders, that severely restrict their freedom of movement and association, mitigating the risk they may pose to Australians. 

Germany and Finland repatriated 23 women and children in December 2020, while the Government of Kazakhstan announced it had repatriated the last of its citizens from Syria in February with the support of the US Government. 

For interviews, call Anna Jabour 0403 322 992 or Angus Smith 0488 330 882 

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