Sydney - The chief doctors' organization in Australia urged the government Monday to remove refugee children from detention in Nauru, saying they were traumatized.
Australian Medical Association paediatric spokesman Paul Bauert told reporters in Canberra that 6,000 doctors had joined a call to change government policy keeping 80 refugee children on the Pacific island of Nauru.
Bauert said almost all the children in detention on Nauru were traumatized.
"Many are damaged already, but we don't want this damage to be permanent," Bauert said, according to the news agency AAP.
"They need to be assessed and treated as a matter of urgency. It's a miracle we haven't had a death already."
The government has consistently rejected calls to relax its policy of sending people trying to reach Australia by boat to Nauru or the Papua New Guinea island of Manus. Some have been there for five years.
"I will not put at risk any element of Australia's border protection policy," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said just a few weeks ago.
Last week the international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was expelled from Nauru by the island's government, which said it was not needed to provide mental health to refugees.
MSF Australia director Paul McPhun then called for the immediate evacuation of all asylum seekers from Nauru, calling the Australian government's policy "inhumane."
On Tuesday a group called Rural Australians for Refugees will hold a rally outside parliament house in Canberra calling for the removal of child refugees from Nauru.