SYDNEY, 13 November 2016
– UNICEF Australia welcomes the encouraging announcement from Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Dutton to re-settle refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island in the United States of America.
UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart said: “The chance to resettle in the US will, at long last, give refugee children on Nauru the chance to start a new life in safety and for their families to recover and rebuild.”
Children in particular have been impacted by offshore processing experiencing prolonged distress, violence, family separation and interrupted education. This arrangement creates a permanent pathway for children to grow up healthy, educated and to reach their full potential.
It seems unlikely that all 1600 refugees on Manus and Nauru will meet the U.S refugee admissions criteria for resettlement. UNICEF Australia encourages the Australian Government to continue their dialogue with other resettlement countries to ensure that each refugee has the best resettlement outcome.
"Over fifteen years we have learned that offshore processing is not safe for children, or sustainable. The Australian Government has negotiated through great complexity to deliver a positive arrangement which will have real and rapid outcomes for some of the world's most vulnerable children."
UNICEF Australia looks forward to continued cooperation with the Australian Government regarding strengthening protection for refugee children in the region.
For further information and interviews, contact:
Nicole Lawrence, UNICEF Australia, +61 419 748 624, [email protected]
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.au
Follow us on Twitter