You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Walkers call for Nauru kids to be freed

AAP logoAAP 22/12/2016 Rachael Burnett

A pair of walkers are trekking from Byron Bay to Brisbane in a campaign to free child refugees being held in a controversial offshore detention centre.

Peter Walker and Scott Collins are calling for the Australian government to release around 50 youngsters who they say are being confined on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru.

The duo, both 58, are due to complete their 210km hike at King George Square on Friday after setting off on December 9.

"Many times along the walk I have been inspired to continue through the heat as I noticed Australian children enjoying their freedom and families," Mr Walker said.

"They reminded me that it is the birthright of every child to be nurtured."

"We have chosen to walk at Christmas time to draw a parallel between our love, care and generosity toward our own children in the festive season to the ongoing abuse of children offshore, which is being done in our name," he added.

Campaigner Michelle McDonald joined the walkers along the Gold Coast on Saturday to show her support.

"We cannot celebrate Christmas alongside our own children with any integrity if we ignore the desperate situation of children on Nauru," she said.

"For some of these children, this will be their fourth Christmas in indefinite offshore detention.

"The state-sanctioned abuse of children must stop and the Australian government must do the only humane thing and bring them here immediately."

The Australian government has come under increasing international criticism for its use of offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus.

An Amnesty International report in October accused the administration of deliberate abuse and neglect of asylum seekers on Nauru, saying the systematic nature of the harm being done to them amounted to torture.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon