Response to the Children in Detention letter campaign

In August, 132 early childhood professionals sent letters to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, calling on the Government to end the inhumane treatment of child refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.

Today I received a response – it can be viewed here. I have also posted the text below.

While I am pleased that the Department took the time to reply, I am not happy with their response – nor that the Minister or Prime Minister did not reply personally.

Advocacy News

Inquiry into children in immigration detention

child detention

The Australian Human Rights Commission will hold a National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention this year. It is the first such Inquiry in ten years.

Today, however there are approximately 1,000 children in closed immigration detention. This is a higher number than at any point during the period covered by the last inquiry, and the Commission’s monitoring work reveals that key concerns remain. With this increase in child detainees, it is time to look at this issue again.

This inquiry will be able to discover what has changed in the ten years since the last investigation, and find out whether Australia is meeting its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The treatment of children in our immigration detention system has been viewed critically by the United Nations.

The Inquiry will look at a broad scope of issues affecting children in detention, including the affects of lengthy detention, provision of services and the experiences of children separated from their families.

The Inquiry will also consult with Megan Mitchell, the National Commissioner for Children, on implications for Australia’s adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.