1000 Children in Australian Detention – Hope 103.2

1000 Children in Australian Detention

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a national inquiry into children in detention, because it has concerns about their health and welfare.The Australian Human Rights Commission has a mandate to ensure the Australian government complies with its obligations under international law, including the legal requirement that no child is to be detained except as […]

By Katrina RoeWednesday 12 Feb 2014Hope MorningsSocial JusticeReading Time: 1 minute

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a national inquiry into children in detention, because it has concerns about their health and welfare.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Protesters march during a rally organised by the Refugee Action Coalition at the Sydney Town Hall on June 26, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Protesters demanded the government shut down the controversial Curtin detention centre that was recently re-opened to house Afghan and Sri Lankan refugees. The Federal Government in April suspended the processing of claims by asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka citing 'evolving circumstances' in both countries. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The Australian Human Rights Commission has a mandate to ensure the Australian government complies with its obligations under international law, including the legal requirement that no child is to be detained except as a last resort. 

Commission President Gillian Triggs told Hope Mornings there are currently more than 1028 children being held in Australian detention, and that the average time they are being detained for is steadily increasing.   

She says we now have evidence of the impact this has on children long-term.  “We know much more about the extent of mental illness, the self-harm, the general impact of the anxiety and distress of their general situation and the impact that has on their lives as they grow up as Australian citizens and residents.”

Professor Triggs was reluctant to hold this inquiry last year in an election year, but believes the time is right now that we have a more settled political environment.  She hopes the inquiry will ultimately help to reduce the number of children being held in detention and the amount of time they are detained for.   

Audio: Listen to Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission on why Australia needs a national inquiry into children in detention.

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