The Forgotten Children: More than a hundred child refugees are stuck in asylum limbo on the island of Nauru as a result of Australia's harsh and unsympathetic border policies. ABC Four Corners reveals their story.
17 year old Shamim was excited when she was told they were going to Nauru. "When they told us about going to Nauru, I was like 'oh we're going to Norway it's so good. Like Norway is so beautiful. Mum, Granny, why are you crying? We're going to Norway.'" Her joy and enthusiasm was short-lived. Shamim became withdrawn and began to self-harm, even threatening suicide. "Well it's death by slow torture. It's just how the place is set up to make people go mad or just make people - just make people die inside", says teacher Gabby Sutherland. Things went from bad to worse when the Australian school closed. The Nauruan children hated the asylum seekers, attacking them and even threatening them with knives. The school itself is not fit for purpose. "I've travelled a lot and I've worked in a lot of schools across Asia and Africa, and I still will never get over what I saw at Nauru College. The stench of urine hits you as you walk in", explains teacher, Kirsty Mannell. Many of these children have been on Nauru for years, with little hope of ever reaching Australia.