20 Dec 2018

Lawsuit in Australia on behalf of alleged child rape victim on Nauru

2:12 pm on 20 December 2018

A lawsuit has been filed in Australia on behalf of a 10-year-old boy who was allegedly raped three times in an immigration detention centre on Nauru.

The Nibok refugee settlement, Nauru.

A detention centre on Nauru Photo: Pool / NZ Herald / Jason Oxenham

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the lawsuit, brought on the Iranian boy's behalf by his mother, alleges the federal government failed to protect him.

It also alleges security failures by contractors at the Nauru centre: Wilson Security and Broadspectrum, then known as Transfield Services.

The alleged sexual assaults took place in late 2014, according to lawyer Dimi Ioannou.

She said her firm was dealing with several sexual assaults of asylum seekers but this was thought to be the first Australian case involving a child.

The assaults were allegedly committed by an older teenage boy, also a detainee.

They were reported to the centre's management and Nauruan police who investigated but according to Ms Ioannou did not press charges.

Earlier this month Australia's prime minister Scott Morrison said that fewer than 10 children remained on Nauru, signalling the number would fall toward the end of the year.

"All the children that have had medical-related issues for transfers have been transferred," Mr Morrison said.

But the government resisted a bill backed by the crossbench, Labor and the Greens that would have simplified approvals for medical transfers from Nauru and Manus islands.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs