Momentum is gathering across Anglican Churches to ring the church bells every Friday at 12 noon to highlight the plight of refugee children on Nauru. The bells will be rung a number of times to equate with the number of children still in the detention center.
We know offshore detention is damaging for all people, but it especially affects children. There are even recent reports of a number of children on Nauru being diagnosed with a rare mental health syndrome known as 'resignation syndrome', the result of experiencing extreme trauma. The view of the Refugee Council of Australia (https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/) is that no one should be indefinitely and arbitrarily detained in detention centers, neither here in Australia nor in places like Nauru and Papua New Guinea. But the general Australian public doesn't necessarily see that yet. That's why it is important to have conversations with people about something we can all relate to and understand - the well-being and care of children.
The blatant cruelty of Australia's offshore detention regime has been well-documented. We know it is deeply damaging for people - adults and children a like, we know it is exorbitantly expensive to maintain, we know that local people on Nauru and Manus Island have felt anger over the lack of consultation for the centers, and we know it contravenes international human rights frameworks.