Dutton Hails ‘No Children In Detention’, Somehow Excludes 50 On Nauru

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has announced that all children held in Australia’s onshore detention centres have been released into the community.

That group of twelve was comprised of toddlers to teenagers who were released from a Darwin facility Friday evening; five had been detained here, with the other seven being released from detention on Nauru.

Predictably, few other details have been announced, like the specifics of what exactly will be happening with their families – if they’ve been released at all.  

Regardless, Dutton has characterised the release as a cornerstone of his tenure as Immigration Minister. According to The Daily Telegraph, he said “when I got the call, it was something I was proud of.”

“It’s almost been a decade since there were no children in detention…

This is now one of the most significant achievements of this government… Now, we need to make sure that we don’t get new ­arrivals.’’

That’s all well and good, but while the number of children detained onshore has now hit zero, an estimated 50 children still remain in offshore detention on Nauru. 

Previously, The Greens introduced a bill to the Senate which would make it illegal to hold asylum-seeking children and their families in off-shore detention. 

At the time, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said “the community has had enough of the government’s cruelty and are calling out for a better way to support people seeking asylum.”

Of course, Dutton has contended the Greens’ and Labor’s current stance on off-shore detention would see a dramatic upswing in the number of arrivals by boat. 

“The reality is there are 14,000-plus people in Indonesia waiting to hop on boats tomorrow and [their] policy to have children and their families cycle out of detention in 30 days would see a bonanza for people smugglers bartering with families to get on boats.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph.
Photo: Pacific Press / Getty.