The sadness and pleas in these drawings are fairly evident, sometimes literal. “I need your help. ples help me” says the speech bubble above the girl with curly hair. A child is crying out for help, pleading to strangers. Parents know they cannot help their own children. These drawings show the complete breakdown of the family unit. Inside detention, parents are stripped of the right to make nearly every basic decision about their child: what will he or she eat, shall I set a nice family table for dinner, what type of education will my child receive, what will he or she wear?Go back home and you can make all the decisions you want for your child.
Successive governments have gone to great lengths to tell us that there is no longer razor wire at facilities; that where possible, Christmas Island included, fences are relatively low. Sometimes it is the type of fencing you would see at a residential building site. It makes no difference: the children are trapped, they are held captive and their drawings reflect this. Overbearing bars, giant locks, guards with keys on their belts. It looks repressive because it is. It looks terrifying from the eyes of a child: uniforms, places you cannot go, restrictions that hold you in a place filled with suffering.Oh, stop! I’m welling up here… No, actually, I’m not.
Time and time again we see children draw sad groups, collections of broken people. They mourn their own lost freedom but also feel grief for their friend who is not as much fun to play with as she once was, for the child they saw crying in the dining room.So, children are unhappy. And that means Australians should just accept all comers, with no questions asked. Right?
Wrong! The voters have spoken, and they clearly reject the idea of open borders.
When we visit they often give us something sweet. One boy explained this to me. “You are nice people, you visit us, we don’t want to make you sad.”What a manipulative little article this is.