28 Jul 2016

Asylum-seeker families threatened with being sent back to Nauru

7:53 am on 28 July 2016

One of the authors of a report on families in detention in Australia says some have been told not to get settled as they may go back to Nauru.

The Australian government buckled to protesters in April and released almost 200 people into community detention before the election, saying it wouldn't leave children in detention.

Most of them had come to Australia from Nauru for medical attention, including women who were raped and assaulted.

Pamela Curr, who co-authored a report on women abused in Nauru, said the mere threat of going back to Nauru was having a significant mental impact on them as well as the children.

"We've got little children, babies born, we saw these babies as they developed, who don't smile. We've got kids who wet their bed every night," said Ms Curr.

"They sleep with their parents because they're terrified of being sent back to detention. I can't tell you how distressing it is to see children as nervous and as anxious as these children are," she said.