Thursday 11th August 2016 - 9:54 am

Appoint a children’s commissioner for Nauru:Labor

by Alan Thornhill

Labor has renewed its call for a children’s commissioner to investigate allegations of child abuse on Nauru and in other detention centres.


The shadow minister for immigration and border protection, Shane Neumann, urged greater transparency on the issue, when he appeared in a late night ABC television program last night.


He said:  “We need action now.



“An independent children’s advocate would act on each case individual case, dealing with each case as it does in any court we deal with where there’s an independent children’s lawyer engaged.


“ That independent advocate would be able to deal with children, deal with those people engaged in mental health assistance and also advocate and report to Parliament,” Mr Neumann said.


This follows The Guardian’s publication of material from an 8,000 page leaked document, detailing some 2,000 incidents of  alleged abuse on the island, including a “disproportionate” number of child abuse cases.



The  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed calls by the Greens for a Royal Commission into the allegations.


However he has promised an investigation


Human rights advocates are also calling for more transparency into Australia’s offshore detention system.



Hugh de Kretser of the Humn Rights Law Centre said:  “ We desperately need to open up this system to scrutinise it.


“That’s a secondary issue to the humanitarian issue which is upon us now which is acting now to bring them here to Australia,” he added.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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