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 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.
Update your browser or Flash plugin