While the Australian government refuses to acknowledge truth, the situation for children detained on Nauru worsens
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Immigration minister Peter Dutton's big lie is working. New polling shows 60% of Australians believe there are no children in detention.1 But last week medical whistleblowers on ABC's 7:30 Report blew the lid off the government's lie – revealing a bleak childhood of barbed wire fences and numbers instead of their names for the 107 children detained on Nauru and that there is a very real risk a child will die on Nauru.5
Yet the same new polling shows that when people are confronted with the faces of the children still detained on Nauru, a clear majority – including a majority of Government supporters – want those children and their families brought to safety immediately.2
That's our hope. And what we have to do is clear.
On Monday, a shaky Morrison Government will be under full public scrutiny for the first time as they head to Parliament. We have to seize that spotlight to put it on their abuse of children on Nauru.
If we blanket Canberra, and the country, with the faces of the children our government detains with an ambitious ad blitz – we can shatter the government's lie and bring forth the full force of public opinion on a vulnerable government.
Dutton has lied about getting every child out of detention for years – he even named it as one of his 'key achievements' during the chaos of the leadership spill.3
But while the Government refuses to acknowledge truth – the situation for children detained on Nauru worsens.
Children should be free to grow and flourish in a safe, supportive environment. But since December, lawyers have had to force Dutton's department to evacuate 27 critically ill children and their families to Australia.4 And medical whistleblowers had a dire warning – there is a very real risk a child will die on Nauru.5 We don't have time to waste.
In 2016, when Dutton tried to send baby Asha and other children living safely in our communities back to danger on Nauru, our movement made their images front page news and Dutton was forced to back down. If we get the faces of these children in front of the public, Morrison and Dutton will be unable to look the other way.
We've got an ambitious plan to urgently plaster Canberra and the country with the faces of the children of Nauru. If enough of us chip in we can:
- Get a mobile billboard to confront Morrison and Dutton at Parliament, and follow them around Canberra.
- Plaster key electorates across the country with posters and billboards in strategic, high traffic areas.
- Take out a powerful full page ad in a national newspaper.
- Run targeted digital ads on social media so our politicians feel the pressure every time they log on.
- Get production started on a hard-hitting TV ad to be shown across the country.
The more we raise, the more people we'll be able to reach with the truth about children on Nauru, and the more we'll be able to focus public pressure on a rickety Morrison Government.
Thank you for standing with us.
Shen and Renaire for the GetUp team
P.S We've fought and won a battle like this before. In 2016, our movement stood up and said #LetThemStay – and Dutton backed down. This time, we can come together and call out the lie that there are not children in detention and get #KidsOffNauru.
 Essential poll - Nauru, 14 August 2018.
 Essential poll - Nauru, 14 August 2018.
 'Peter Dutton resigns ministerial position after leadership challenge', News.com.au, 21 August 2018.
 Child Trauma on Nauru – The Facts, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, 28 August 2018
 'Healthcare workers speak out about the health of child refugees on Nauru', ABC, 28 August 2018.
GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations.
Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.
Authorised by Paul Oosting, GetUp Ltd, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.