Why do we only care about Australian children being abused?

Imagine your daughter suddenly refuses to go to primary school. You ask her why, but she is evasive, scared.

Eventually she tells you the boys have been touching her without her consent. Feeling her bottom, hugging her.

She tells you she feels unsafe.

Imagine you are sitting in a car with your husband and young son. Another man, you don’t know, sits on the other side of your little boy.

He picks him up and puts him on his lap.

Afterwards, your son tells you the man put his hand inside his shorts.

Now, imagine there is nothing you can do to protect your children.

Your daughter must return to school and your son must continue to be supervised by paid security officers because your home is a white vinyl tent on an isolated island in the middle of the Pacific and there is absolutely no way out.

All children deserve a childhood. Source: Facebook

The above are just two examples adapted from more than 2000 leaked incident reports from the Nauru detention facility, published by The Guardian today.

Both occurred in 2015, but the reports span a period of more than two years. They detail shocking accounts of alleged sexual abuse, violence and self harm.

While the scope of the abuse alleged in the Nauru files is shocking, the over-representation of children is nothing short of horrific.

Only 18 per cent of those in detention on Nauru are children, but they are involved in more than half of the incidents outlined in these reports.


Last month, it took 12 hours for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to call for a royal commission into the treatment of juvenile offenders in the Northern Territory prison system after ABC's Four Corners exposed the "torture" of children in Don Dale detention centre.

The inexcusable abuse uncovered by the program was labelled as the "tip of the iceberg".

Former staff from the Nauru detention facility, including case managers, social workers, child protection specialists and teachers have given the same bleak assessment of the Nauru files.

Refugee advocates, peak bodies, politicians and the Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs have all called for a comparable level investigation.

The Prime Minister has batted them away.

Former immigration minister, now treasurer, Scott Morrison also felt compelled to point out the reports were only allegations.

"It's important to stress that incidents reports of themselves aren't a reporting of fact, they are a reporting that an allegation has been made," he told reporters in Sydney.

Why aren't we screaming in outrage, demanding that our leaders investigate, just as we rightly did after the damning report into the Don Dale facility?

The children on Nauru — more than 50 children — have committed no crimes.

But our Government locked them up indefinitely and asked us to foot the $1.2 billion a year bill.

Not any more. Not in our name.