London newspaper The Guardian has published the leaked reports detailing the sexual abuse, self-harm and cruelty suffered by young refugees and asylum seekers on the Pacific island of Nauru. More than half of the 2,116 reports involve children.
The newspaper states: "The devastating trauma and abuse inflicted on children held by Australia in offshore detention has been laid bare in the largest cache of leaked documents released from inside its immigration regime."
The reports cover the time between May 2013 and October 2015 and have been published amid exposure of the brutal treatment of children in a juvenile detention center in Australia's Northern Territory.
Defending the reports, Adam McKerrow, who worked for charities Save The Children and the Salvation Army on the island during the same period told Sputnik:
"These files were written by professionals working for Save the Children Australia and with asylum seekers and refugees. They are very difficult to dismiss. We believe this is what we saw and have written it up accordingly," Adam Mckerrow told Sputnik.
"I witnessed first-hand the details that have been included in the reports and I wrote some of them myself as part of my case management duties."
Included in the leaked files are seven reports of sexual assaults of children, 59 reports of assault on children, 30 cases involving children self-harming and 159 reports of threatened self-harm involving children.
The reports include distressing details including one girl's request for a four minute shower accepted on condition of sexual favors requested by a security officer. Another report reveals that a girl who had sewn her lips together was laughed at by a guard.
"I hope this goes to a royal commission which has been called by President of Australia's human rights commission, Gillian Triggs and that both sides of Australian politics can move forward and find a solution for these people on Nauru that eventually leads to these camps being closed," McKerrow told Sputnik.
Nauru is the world's smallest island state. On the last official count in June 2016, 338 men, 55 women and 49 children were held in Nauru's regional processing center. Australia's other offshore center, on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea holds 854 men.