Plea for Canberra to help a Somali woman raped on Nauru
Australian government asked to help a Somali refugee on Nauru who was raped and is now pregnant.
A refugee campaigner is calling on the Australian Government to once again return a pregnant refugee from Nauru to Australia for a termination as it is illegal in Nauru.
The Somali woman, who says she is pregnant because of a rape on the island, was in Australia last week for a termination, but was suddenly flown back to Nauru in contentious circumstances.
The Australia government says she changed her mind, however her representatives deny this.
Pamela Curr from Melbourne's Asylum Seeker Resource Centre says the 23-year-old woman should be given the help and counselling she deserves.
Bridget Grace began by asking her what should happen next.
PAMELA CURR: The clock is ticking, and we are hoping that the government will make a sensible decision. We've now got a new Prime Minister who in his opening week, made some strong statements about the need for women in Australia to get respect. He also said that violence against women was unacceptable, now if it's unacceptable for women in Australia, it has got to be unacceptable for the women on Nauru. And the problem is that the Australian government has no means of ensuring that the women on Nauru are safe. And they are not safe. There are too many of them who have been subject to rape to in any way say that they are safe.
BRIDGET GRACE: I guess you'd say that the Australia government has an obligation to assist and look after this woman?
PC: If the Australian government truly lived up to its promises under the international conventions on the rights of the child, the rights of women, and the refugee convention, there is no way that this woman or any of the other woman would be on Nauru. We are in breach, fragrant breach, of our promises to the international conventions. When we put people on Nauru in appalling conditions and without any security or protection.
BG: What do you think the government should do for this woman - should they fly her back to Australia again?
PC: If they truly believed in respect for women and observed this woman's rights that is what they would do. Bring her back to Australia, give her the counselling she needs, and allow her to have the termination that she also wanted. I don't know if my country is capable of showing that sort of understanding and respect for women who've arrived by boat. We wait and hope that this young woman gets a fair go.
BG: How likely do you think that will happen?
PC: I don't know. I tell you, there are women in Australia who are standing up for this woman and we will not give up until she gets what she needs.
BG: What do you think will happen if the government is passive and doesn't do anything?
PC: This woman is in a terrible position, she's a recognised refugee, she cannot return to her home. She is carrying a child conceived out of rape, what is her future?
The Somali woman restated her wish to proceed with a termination in an interview with The Australian this week.
There has been no word from the Australian government about her plea.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: