Samuel arrived into the world chubby; a miniature wrestler who, eight months on, has just produced his eighth tooth. Born at the Royal Darwin Hospital, his parents had him baptised as soon as they could and earmarked him for great things.
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Why young asylum seekers avoid school
School aged asylum seekers on Nauru are missing out on an education because of bullying and teachers 'don't speak English'.
The dream is that their boy will become an Australian doctor or lawyer, but Samuel is unlikely to realise it. He is one of 37 babies the Turnbull government wants to put on a plane, as early as next week, and send to Nauru's offshore processing centre.
Also facing the prospect of removal are around 160 adults, including Samuel's parents, and another 50-odd older children. All were brought back to Australia from offshore centres in Nauru or Manus Island, mostly for medical treatment.
The group is party to a High Court case where the Human Rights Law Centre is challenging the government's policy of sending uninvited boat arrivals to life in limbo on two small islands run by foreign governments.
The decision by the court's full bench will be handed down on Wednesday morning and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has flagged his intention to move quickly to send the asylum seekers to Nauru, saying this will reduce the number of children in detention on the mainland to just seven.
"This is a sleight of hand," says the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, who says the babies and children will be simply transferred from mainland detention to an environment certain to do even more damage.
A team from the commission visited many of those who face removal to Nauru at the Wickham Point centre near Darwin before Christmas and Professor Triggs said a medical team reported they had never come across such traumatised children.
"But they are partly traumatised because of the constant threat that they'll be going back to Nauru," she tells Fairfax Media.
Mr Dutton's office said there would be no comment in the lead up to the High Court decision. If the government loses the case, it's possible the people could be sent to Christmas Island -- which is believed to have been prepared for this contingency -- where they would be kept in detention.
So distressed are many of the parents at these events that they agreed to Fairfax Media publishing the pictures of their babies.
Supporters of offshore processing say conditions for those whose claims are yet to be finalised have improved dramatically since the decision by the Nauru government to allow asylum seekers to freely come and go from the fence-ringed centre.
But the asylum seekers who spoke to Fairfax Media from their current home, the Wickham Point centre near Darwin, say the island itself - a barren outcrop the size of Melbourne airport - is their jail.
Samuel's father and mother are devout Christians from Iran who spent a year on Nauru before complications prior to Samuel's birth forced the government to send them to Darwin Hospital.
Samuel's father, Matthew (not his real name), fears for his son's development if sent to Nauru, where Australian doctors say health problems are endemic.
"There is bad hygiene and facilities and life is very limited for a baby. There is no security. Women can get raped. There is not enough education or proper medical facilities," says Matthew, who spoke to Fairfax Media from a detention centre in Darwin.
Samuel's mother describes Nauru as "the end of the world".
"It is like hell," she says.
'Samuel' may be sent back to Nauru Photo: Supplied
Asked about the prospect of Samuel spending at least some of his childhood on the island, his mother falters, then starts quietly crying. "I can't talk about his future," she says.
For Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the pending removal of the children to Nauru looms as an act that will help define his leadership to different constituencies — to progressive voters, who are hoping for more compassion, and his party's conservative right wing, which sees Nauru and Manus as critical in stopping the flow of boats and the deaths at sea.
Along with the 37 babies set to be removed from Australia are at least 15 women whose lawyers allege they suffered sexual assault or harassment while previously in offshore detention. Others have serious medical conditions.
The mother of an 11-month-old baby girl suffers from type one diabetes, a condition that is hard to manage on Nauru. The father of an infant boy about to have his first birthday told Fairfax Media he fears his wife's mental health issues will be exacerbated by conditions on Nauru.
Being locked up in Darwin is bad enough, he says. For this father, the best escape from his families' grim predicament is the brief, daily moments of pure innocence and joy his shares with his son.
"When he wakes up in the morning, it is the best. He has a smile on his face."