Join with Amnesty International to help Nauru refugees
Nauru is a tiny island, smaller than most airports. The scenery is unwelcoming, with most of the inland areas devastated by decades of phosphate mining. Heat, dust and wild dogs follow you everywhere. Three years ago, Australia decided to banish refugees who attempted to reach its shores by boat to Nauru. Since then, hundreds of men, women and children have been stuck on this remote island in appalling conditions; many, if not most, are suffering from serious physical and mental ailments. Their futures are completely uncertain. The Australian and Nauruan governments know very well how horrendous and unlawful everything that goes on here is, and go to great lengths to hide it. Almost no journalists or independent observers have been able to come to Nauru since refugees started arriving four years ago.
What’s even more sinister is that everybody who works for the Australian government here is sworn to secrecy – under Australian law, service providers face two years in jail if they reveal anything about the situation in Nauru.
Amnesty International’s efforts
The despair on Nauru is palpable. Although around 70% of the people sent there have been recognised as refugees, they have nowhere to go. Australia has said it will never accept them, but hasn’t offered them any viable alternatives. Even those who have received Nauruan travel documents cannot leave: the documents state “refugee” as their nationality and those who have tried to use them to get visas to go to other countries have quickly realised they are useless.
It’s time to take the refugee crisis personally. Instead of tackling one of the worst humanitarian emergencies of our time, our governments are closing their eyes and turning away. Instead of finding solutions, they’re letting fear and racism poison public debate.
We cannot stand by in silence while people’s lives and futures are destroyed. No one seeking safety should have to risk death just to cross a border. Refugees fled bombs and persecution believing that other countries would respect their human rights, and offer them sanctuary. We cannot prove them wrong.
Supporting Amnesty International
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How you can help
Make your voice heard: sign the pledge, then tell all your friends and family about it. Together, we’ll send a loud and clear message to world leaders at the UN in September: Refugees need safe passage, and protection through global solutions like resettlement.