Save the Children aid workers fired under political pressure

Save the Children welfare workers fired under political pressure seek apology from Australian government

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Protesters hold placards at the 'Stand up for Refugees' rally held in central Sydney October 11, 2014

An aid worker told media on Saturday that the Australian government should apologise for ejecting nine welfare workers from an immigration camp on Nauru for alleged misconduct, after they were cleared of any wrongdoing, on Saturday.

An independent report into the deportation of nine Save the Children employees from the Australian government’s immigration centre on Nauru in October 2014, after raising concerns from asylum seekers about sexual harassment from guards, was released late Friday in accordance with a government order.

The Save the Children fund is an international NGO that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and supports children in developing countries.

Chief executive of the high court, Christopher Doogan reported that the welfare workers were fired under political pressure and there was “no evidence or reliable information” for their dismissal.

Nauru is home to one of Australia’s controversial refugee detention centres and has been criticised for reports of harsh systemic abuse.

Natasha Bulcher, a Save the Children aid worker formerly employed at the camp, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the report didn’t include an apology and that she was “disappointed” by this.

Bulcher claimed the government’s decision to deport the workers was made on a “basis of no evidence."

Paul Ronalds, Save the Children chief executive, told the ABC on Friday that the staff and Save the Children deserve compensation.

"We've said from the start that these were some of our most talented and hardest working staff and the idea that they would fabricate cases of abuse or encourage children to self harm was always absurd," Ronalds said.

Australia’s immigration policy sends asylum seekers attempting to reach the country by boat to a camp on Nauru or on Manus island in Papua New Guinea.

A recent United Nations report has stated that the Australian Government has violated the right of asylum seekers to be free from torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment “by failing to provide adequate detention conditions.”

A report on Saturday said self harm incidents occur once every two days on average in Australia’s offshore detention centres with prospective refugees attempting suicide, cutting themselves or swallowing poison.


TRTWorld, Reuters