Children Off Nauru By The End Of The Year
Children of asylum seekers will be taken from Nauru to Australia before the end of the year but lawyers warn they will be in limbo and pressured to go back.
Former attorney-general and now UK high commissioner George Brandis has said all asylum seeker children on Nauru will be relocated to Australia by the end of the year.
Human rights lawyers plan to launch legal challenges to keep the children in Australia once they get here, but they say the government is using tactics to get them to go back to Nauru.
"Children have been transferred off Nauru. That's been happening for some time," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said
"I haven't been showboating about it."
An unofficial deadline of Christmas has reportedly been set to get asylum seeker children moved from Nauru to Australia.
"There are hardly any children on Nauru and in New Guinea and we expect that by the end of this year there will be none," Mr Brandis told LBC radio in London.
Human Rights Law Centre advocacy director Daniel Webb said the government was countering legal challenges with emotional pressure.
"We've got cases where family members have been deliberately left behind on Nauru as a tactic designed to pressure those brought to Australia to go back," he told AAP.
Even when they do get to Australia and start to recover, it isn't over.
"They live with the fear that one day our government will send them back," Mr Webb said.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said he will not allow people who pose a security risk to Australia to be allowed out of Nauru, and asylum seekers will be sent back after medical treatment.
"I've had cases before where I've made decisions that the father will stay in custody and the child and the mother will go out into the community," Mr Dutton said.
"I've been very clear, once people have received their medical assistance, then the expectation is they will return back to their country of origin."
It is understood there are 38 children of asylum seekers remaining on the island.
Of the children removed from the Pacific nation during the past few days, 13 have been hospitalised in capital cities across Australia.
Former Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs says it will take time for the children and their families to be healthy.
"These children are, on all the medical evidence, deeply traumatised and damaged," Ms Triggs told ABC radio.
A total of 46 infants have been born to asylum seekers since Nauru was reopened for processing in 2012. In recent years, 244 minors have reportedly been taken to Australia from offshore detention centres.