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THE NAURU FILES: Authors of Published Incident Reports Speak Out

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10TH AUGUST 2016

Today, in response to the emergence of over 2,000 leaked incident reports published by Guardian Australia, an
unprecedented number of former Save the Children workers from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre (RPC)
have taken the decision to speak out, many of whom have never done so before. The professionals, who
include case managers, social workers, child protection specialists, teachers, and adult, child and youth
recreation workers, are calling for the closure of the Nauru Regional Processing Centre and the immediate
transfer of all asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru to Australia.
‘’These incident reports were not leaked by us, or by any person known to us. However, now that this
information is on the public record, it enables us to speak out in an unprecedented way.’’ said Natasha
Blucher, former Save the Children Senior Caseworker. ‘’As the authors of many of these reports, we encourage
you to understand that despite the clinical and objective language we have used in our professional roles –
these reports document intense suffering experienced by families, children and individuals and are irrefutable
evidence of the harm caused by offshore detention.”
The incident reports published by Guardian Australia form part of daily intensive reporting required by all
service provider staff working in the Nauru RPC. However, Jane Willey, former Save the Children teacher, says
‘’It appears from looking through the published database that nowhere near the full extent of the incident
reports written on a day to day basis have been released. What you are seeing here is just the tip of the
iceberg.”
Judith Reen, a former teacher, said “It was very common for us to write incident reports which were then
scrutinised by Wilsons security and downgraded in importance. We were expected to simply report incidents
and then trust Wilsons, the very organisation whose staff were sometimes alleged perpetrators, to conduct
investigations. The lack of independent oversight meant that this reporting system was ineffective and placed
asylum seekers at greater risk inside the camp.”
‘’The content of these reports does not surprise us.” said Alyssa Munoz, Former Save the Children Child
Protection Worker. “It is simply the documentation of the extreme harm caused to children that we saw every
day. In all my years as a child protection specialist, I have never seen such intense harm caused to children on
such a large scale as I saw occurring in the Nauru RPC.”
“One of our gravest concerns as child protection specialists in this environment was that our assessments and
recommendations were not taken into consideration and there was no child protection legislation with which
we could protect children’s safety. Many of these incidents were not investigated by us, but were instead
conducted by untrained Wilsons staff and local police – who often created more trauma for the families and
children involved, and which did not result in the removal of the children from the harmful environment of the
RPC or the provision of appropriate support to families. These children and families need care and
rehabilitation now.’’ Said Munoz.
Many of these workers have made submissions and given evidence to recent Senate Inquiries about the
incidents contained in these reports. “Contrary to what the Australian Government is trying to claim, these are
not simply allegations.’’ Said Samantha Betts, a former Child and Youth Recreation worker who gave evidence
to a recent Senate Inquiry. “These are objective reports of incidents that we witnessed first-hand, written in
the course of our professional duties.”
“As professionals who have worked with these individuals, families and children, we call on the Australian
government to remove them from harm immediately, and to bring them here to Australia for the
rehabilitation and fair treatment that they deserve.” says Natasha Blucher.

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