Musicians join call to stop incarcerating children on Nauru
Media Release Saturday 17 November 2018
Kiwi musicians join call to get children off Nauru with new song.
Children Don’t Belong in Jail is a new protest song released today by New Zealand musicians Luke Buda and Don McGlashan in response to the refugee children still detained on the island of Nauru.
Don and Luke felt they couldn’t stay silent on this issue and have teamed up to write a song, in association with trans-Tasman grassroots advocacy group Mums 4 Refugees, to highlight the issues these children continue to face.
As Universal Children’s Day approaches on 20 November, Don and Luke are joining the call to get all these children and their families off Nauru and provide them proper medical care and a safe future with their song “Children Don’t Belong in Jail”.
Luke says "I have felt very upset and outraged by the reports coming out of Nauru, especially the stories of children as young as 5 engaging in serious self harm. We wrote this song to raise awareness of what is happening in off shore detention, in the hope that more people will sign up to the campaign to pressure the Australian government to end the horror they have created for these little kids and their families.”
“The way these children are being treated is inhumane and shameful and the Australian Government must be pushed to do much, much better for these people.” says Don.
Mums 4 Refugees co-convener Sarah Jane Parton says as of today, 22 asylum seeker and refugee children are still incarcerated by the Australian government on the tiny island of Nauru.
“Many of these children have physical and mental health issues and, contrary to the messaging from Australian politicians, most children and families transferred to Australia to date have been moved for medical reasons following legal intervention,” she says.
“For the remaining children, watching their friends leave while battling their own physical and mental health issues can be soul-destroying.”
Sarah adds that without a clear time-frame for removal from the island these families continue to face an uncertain future.
“And with the proviso that detainees will only ever be relocated back to Nauru or their countries of origin – an impossibility for many who have fled their home countries to escape persecution – this is simply not good enough,” she says.
Sarah speaks for the more than 800 mothers from across New Zealand who are members of Mums 4 Refugees.
“As mothers, it is unimaginable to us that any civilised country can treat women and children this way. Together with advocacy groups from Australia and New Zealand we continue to work to ensure these children have a safe secure future and we owe our heartfelt thanks to Don and Luke for adding their amazing voices to the #kidsoffnauru campaign.”
World Vision New Zealand National Director Grant Bayldon says this song will be a powerful way to bring people together and continue to convey the injustice on Nauru.
“The release of this song shows how deeply New Zealanders feel about the plight of the children stuck on Nauru. The situation there deteriorates by the day, time is running out, we have to get the kids off Nauru now,” he says.
All proceeds from the song will be donated to support the work of the National Justice Project, a Sydney based pro bono human rights law firm acting for many of the children remaining on Nauru. .
“Children Don’t Belong in Jail” is available on :