6 May 2016

Australia pays NGO over Nauru self-harm claims

6:24 pm on 6 May 2016

The Australian government says it has reached a confidential financial settlement with the charity Save the Children Australia over the removal of ten of its staff from Nauru.

Protest on Nauru

Protest on Nauru Photo: Refugee Action Coalition

This follows claims by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection two years ago that Save the Children staff had orchestrated protest activity and coached and encouraged self-harm of Canberra's detainees.

The allegation prompted Nauru to deport nine of the ten workers.

Australia then ordered an investigation and the so-called Moss Review found evidence of rape and sexual assault of minors at the camps.

However, it disproved the Department's claims of wrongdoing by the staff.

In a statement issued today, the Department said it recognised that Save the Children suffered detriment for which the payment of money could not be adequate compensation.

It said it regretted the way in which the allegations may have led other NGOs and the public to question the integrity of Save the Children as a service provider and a child rights organisation.

The opposition Green Party Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, says the payment shows the government's attempts to blame refugees and advocates for the situation on Nauru is backfiring.

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