Asylum seeker children transferred from Nauru to Brisbane after health fears

A group of unaccompanied child asylum seekers have been transferred from Nauru to Brisbane amid concerns about their mental health and fears they may try to self harm.
The medical evacuation, which began on Friday, occurred in part because the Nauruan government expressed safety concerns about the children.
It is understood that one of the children being medically evacuated is a teenage girl who was only sent to Nauru three days ago. Fairfax Media has been told by well-placed sources one of the girls had attempted suicide on Christmas Island in recent weeks and had been self harming, but had still been deported to Nauru.

It is understood that four asylum-seeker children - one boy and three girls - were living on Nauru. The children were not going to school.
A spokeswoman for the Nauruan government confirmed that three children had been transferred off the island on Friday. She was unsure what had happened with the fourth. The Nauruan justice minister is the legal guardian of unaccompanied minors.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement: ''Any health transfers occur in accordance with standing policies. The government's policy is that there are no exceptions to offshore processing. Health services are constantly reviewed to ensure they are provided to the appropriate standard.''
Up to 433 asylum seeker children interred at Christmas Island's detention centres are being prevented from going to school.
As the Manus Island and Nauru centres fill, there were, according to the most recent figures, 2217 asylum seekers on the island, including 433 children - 76 of them unaccompanied.
Mr Morrison's office referred questions about the fate of the children to a November 8 press conference, in which he said no decision had been made about the fate of the children.
''These issues are not insurmountable and I am sure with continued consultation, that we will be able to put in place appropriate arrangements to meet all of our obligations,'' Mr Morrison said.
''And I should stress that no final decisions have been taken on how that matter will be addressed.''
For some years asylum seeker children have been sent to Christmas Island's district school, which educates more than 250 children.
When Fairfax Media visited in April, 24 children from the nearby detention camps attended daily classes, with five to seven-year-olds in one class, and seven to 13-year-olds in another. Teenagers aged 13 to 17 were offered classes at a recreation centre, with intensive English a priority for older children.
But as the number of asylum seekers kept on the island has swelled, it has become impossible for the local school to accommodate the asylum seeker children.
Independent Education Union federal secretary Chris Watt called on the government to transfer the children to the mainland where they could go to school, and reconsider detaining children if it cannot guarantee their access to education.
''Asylum seeker children and their families should be transferred to mainland Australia where they can join the existing school system; not be sectioned off and have their educational, emotional and welfare needs denied,'' Mr Watt said.
''All children have a right to quality education, delivered by qualified teachers with support staff and services.
''The Australian government and the Department of Immigration have a responsibility to ensure that these rights are protected.''
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