Nauru – multinational replaces Save the Children

The departure of Save the Children Australia from Nauru, means that the children incarcerated there have been left without a voice.

The Australian government has granted the welfare contract to the multinational, Transfield Services.

Transfield Services has received $1.5bn from the Australian federal government since being contracted in October 2012 to manage Australia’s detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

There have been 47 violations of international law at the centres since Transfield took on the contract three years ago, according to the report by not-for-profit group No Business in Abuse.

Charities working in Australia’s asylum seeker detention centres have been asked to pay multi-million dollar bonds that can be forfeited if they speak out against government policy.

Fairfax Media reported that aid agencies, including Save the Children and the Australian Red Cross, were asked by the immigration department to offer “performance security” during contract negotiations.

Save the Children Australia chief executive Paul Ronalds said his organisation refused to sign the bond agreement, interpreting it as a gag clause.

But other organisations, including the Red Cross and Transfield Services, agreed to pay.

“We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved, the education we’ve been able to deliver to asylum seekers and refugees, the support we’ve been able to provide,” said Rolands.

“On the other hand, we are very concerned that with Save the Children leaving, it means there’s even one less voice on Nauru to speak out for children and their families.”

There needed to be far greater transparency and oversight of Australia’s offshore processing centres, which have been condemned by human rights groups and the United Nations, he said.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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