There’s one question we need to ask ourselves and our politicians today: Are we the kind of people, the kind of country, that will send 37 tiny babies back into detention?
If you are tempted to tune out, don’t.
If the phrases ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘off shore detention’ cause you to turn away, don’t.
As citizens of Australia – the prosperous, lucky country that it is – we can no longer look away. We can no longer tune out. What is happening right now is a national disgrace and it is not just about politics. It is about humanity.
And it is time for every single one of us to consider who we are as Australians and what we are willing to stand for.
Are we willing to send 37 babies born in Australia to a detention centre in Nauru or Manus Island where the conditions have been described by some of our leading doctors and legal minds as inhumane, dangerous and desperate? Watch: Mamamia Associate Editor, Georgina Dent on Let Them Stay. Post Continues after video.
Where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife?
Where we know children are suffering extreme levels of psychological distress and despair?
These are 37 babies whose only crime was being born to parents whose only crime was being born in a country they were forced to flee.
Are we willing to stand for sending a five year old boy, an alleged victim of rape, back to the place where he was reportedly raped? Where the alleged perpetrator still resides?
Are we willing to tell the international community ‘We know that detaining children is in breach of our international obligations and we will proceed anyway’?