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Australia: Harm of children under government’s watch must end

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“For the second time, an immigration minister has made false allegations without any evidence against an organisation focussed on child protection. In doing so, it seeks to deflect responsibility for the Federal Governments’ own inaction on harm being caused to children in its care on Nauru,” Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) CEO Marc Purcell said today.

“The last time the Government made similar claims against Save the Children a subsequent independent inquiry found them to be false. But again today, the immigration minister Peter Dutton has tried to shoot the messenger,” Mr Purcell said.

“There are some very damaged children and young people on Nauru as a result of Mr Dutton’s failure to act on evidence of harm perpetrated under his and his predecessors’ watch.

“The Government continues to behave consistent with other institutions appearing before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse – first they deny allegations, then try to confuse and deflect responsibility, blame the victims and then attack those that seek to expose the truth and protect victims.”

We call on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to counsel minister Dutton to cease making false allegations against child protection agencies and move swiftly to remove children, women and men from further harm on Nauru.

August 19

Media contact: Deborah Nesbitt 0452 682008, 02 62819238