Toddler who has lived her whole life in detention faces losing mum

Huyen Tran arrived in Australia by boat as an asylum seeker in 2011, fleeing Vietnam due to religious persecution.

She made Australia her home and married a man named Paul and they decided to start a family together.

But while she was pregnant, Huyen was forced into a Melbourne detention centre where she gave birth to her daughter, Isabella in March 2018.

It’s been 20-months since Isabella was born and the mother and daughter remain in detention.

Huyen with her daughter Isabella.
Huyen (left) is facing deportation to Vietnam despite being married and living with her daughter Isabella (right) in a Melbourne detention centre. Source:

The little girl has never left the facility and is only able to see her father for a short time each day when he visits with her and Huyen after work.

a petition says that Isabella doesn’t have access to basic healthcare locked inside the detention centre and since her only two playmates were transferred to Christmas Island, the toddler has lost weight and has had a decreased appetite.

A psychologist has diagnosed Huyen with depression and Isabella with anxiety.

Isabella is the only child in the dentation centre and now the toddler faces losing her mother as well.

Paul (left) with his daughter Isabella (middle) and his wife Huyen (right).
Paul (left) with his daughter Isabella and his wife Huyen. Source:

Huyen, a devout Catholic, was issued a deputation notice in November which would see her sent back to Vietnam, where Catholics are a persecuted minority.

Her husband’s visa does not allow him to sponsor his wife and the UN has sent an urgent submission to the Australian government to not deport Huyen while they conduct an investigation.

Isabella, 20-months-old with her mother Huyen
Isabella (left) was born in the Melbourne detention centre and is facing being separated from her mother, Huyen (left). Source:

The Australian government responded that they will conduct their own seperate investigation but have yet to confirm it in writing.

At the time of publication more than 3,350 people had signed a petition calling on Prime minister Scott Morrison to keep the family together.

“The only thing Huyen’s lawyers know for sure right now is that they will get seven days notice if she is to be sent away and separated from her daughter and husband,” the petition read.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.