Free ALL Children from Detention. Now. Without delay.
An educated man would see little purpose in punishing a baby.
A decent man would protect frightened women and children.
A civilized man would not pull a child out of school and incarcerate her.
These children and their parents have obeyed the law. They have fulfilled their international obligations and kept the conventions set down by the United Nations.
Have you Mr Abbott?
It seems to me that you see fit to free only children incarcerated by your predecessor. And only those on the mainland. And only those who are under the age of ten. You draw lines of distinction outside the Australian definition of ‘child’, outside the international protocols on the treatment of children, outside the recognised concept of ‘last resort’.
You do your country no favours in breaching what is decent.
You are responsible for the torture of children on Nauru.
You are responsible for the sexual and physical abuse of children on Christmas Island and Manus Island.
You do not represent the people of this nation.
How can the torture of children represent us as a nation?
These are your policies, enacted by your government, adhered to despite public protest and international condemnation.
You are breaking laws Mr Abbott. Laws agreed upon by civilized nations designed to make this world a safer place. A place where women and children have no need to run from fear.
But there are, as I write this, two children running. Two lost and frightened children who were loved by their communities and accepted by their fellow Australians. You took them to an adult prison without bothering to verify their ages. You and your government.
So don’t congratulate yourself, Mr Abbott. Not now. Not yet.
Not before you find in yourself some humanity. Some humility. Some empathy.
And let them ALL. Every child, woman and man, locked inside the gulags of your making. Let them ALL free.