The ABC article Refugee children on Nauru are Googling how to kill themselves, whistleblower warns presents a misleading view of child protection and welfare services in Nauru.
The Department of Home Affairs takes seriously its role in supporting the Government of Nauru to ensure that children are protected from abuse, neglect or exploitation, including increasing our engagement with independent oversight bodies including the United Nations Human Rights Commission, International Committee of the Red Cross, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and Independent Advisors.
Decisions about medical transfers are made on a case by case basis according to clinical need, in consultation with the contracted health services provider and the Government of Nauru.
All transferees in Nauru who have requested a termination of pregnancy have been provided with that treatment.
Incidents involving minors on Nauru are referred to the Government of Nauru Child Protection. A range of care, welfare and support arrangements are in place to provide for the needs of children and young people. Service providers are contracted to provide age-appropriate health, education, recreational, wellbeing and cultural services and activities.
Health professionals regularly engage with refugees and asylum seekers in regards to their mental health and individuals have access to counselling services as needed.
In addition to the significant investment in health services in Nauru, the Commonwealth of Australia has recently established a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), facilitated through the health service provider in Nauru, International Health and Medical Services (IHMS). CAMHS was established in Nauru to provide child mental health services using an outpatient/outreach model.
It is also a mechanism for referral to Government of Nauru Child Protection.
When a person cannot receive appropriate treatment for a significant health condition in Nauru, the person is offered treatment in Taiwan, Papua New Guinea or Australia. Those cases are referred to the Department by the person’s treating clinician and, in all cases, clinical advice is provided by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth. Individuals must give consent to be transferred from Nauru to another country.