By Paula Ahillon For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 03:32 BST, 2 October 2019 | Updated: 05:51 BST, 2 October 2019
The United Nations has asked Australia to release a Tamily family fighting deportation from detention.
Lawyers for the Sri Lankan parents Priya and Nadesalingam and their Australian-born daughters Kopika, four, and Tharunicaa, two, were on Wednesday advised the UN had granted interim measures.
The UN has requested that the Australian Government's Department of Immigration release the family into community detention or find another way to end their existing detention within 30 days.
The United Nations has asked Australia to release a Tamil family (pictured) fighting deportation from detention
Lawyers for the Sri Lankan parents Priya and Nadesalingam and their Australian-born daughters Kopika, four (right), and Tharunicaa, two (left), were on Wednesday advised the UN had granted interim measures
An application was made to the Human Rights Committee on September 27 under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on behalf of Tharunicaa.
The family is being held on Christmas Island while their case is heard in the Federal Court.
"I welcome the UN's assessment that detention is no place for children. And I would hope that the Australian Government would honour their international human rights obligations," family friend Angela Fredericks said in a statement.
"When I visited the family on Christmas Island last month, I was horrified to see how completely isolated the girls are from everything, even the local community on Christmas Island.
"They are watched constantly by guards, their every interaction is filmed. They do not have freedom of movement. In detention, this family merely survives. In Biloela, back in their home, they could thrive."
The family is being held on Christmas Island while their case is heard in the Federal Court
The Australian government has previously said the family won't be returning to mainland Australia while their case is being determined.
Under Australia's immigration laws, people who arrive on boats cannot apply for refugee status in the country, to discourage people from taking the life-threatening journey organised by people smugglers.
Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two daughters previously settled in the Queensland township of Biloela after arriving in Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013.
The family was evicted from their home and were en route back to Sri Lanka when a court injunction secured by refugee advocates ordered the plane to land in Darwin, before they were moved to Christmas Island where they remain.
The Australian government has previously said the family won't be returning to mainland Australia while their case is being determined