Unions back positive outcome for baby Asha as #LetThemStay campaign forces government backdown

Unions have applauded the community #LetThemStay alliance that forced the Turnbull government today to back down from sending baby Asha and her family back into detention on Nauru.

An alliance of health care professionals, unions, community organisations, faith groups and ordinary Brisbane residents maintained a 24-hour vigil outside Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital for 10 days to force the government to change its mind.

Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said baby Asha’s family believed the government’s confirmed offer today of community detention in Australia would be a positive outcome for their family.

“The government’s backdown is testament to the stance taken by health care professionals on wanting a safe home environment for baby Asha after her discharge from hospital,” she said.

“If it wasn’t for this 10-day vigil outside the hospital, baby Asha and her family would have been on a plane back to the detention camp on Nauru.

“This is a win for baby Asha, her family, and the brave health care professionals who put their jobs on the line to ensure her safety,” said Ms McLennan.

“It’s also a great outcome for the union members who stood in solidarity with the health care professionals and the thousands of Queenslanders who have stood in support of this family and the campaign to #LetThemStay.

“This action has changed the conversation around the rights of those seeking safety and security where they can have a decent future.

“Let’s remember that there are hundreds more asylum seekers in Australia who also face deportation back to the camps in Nauru.

“This alliance will be working together to find a fair outcome for those people too.”

She congratulated union and community members who heeded a late-afternoon call yesterday to converge on the Hospital to prevent guards from removing and deporting baby Asha and her family.

“This commitment reflects the public pledge that union representatives made last Monday to support the actions of the health care professionals at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital,” Ms McLennan said.

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