Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Child Detention Is Costly, Cruel and Is Plain Wrong

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Child Detention Is Costly, Cruel and Is Plain Wrong

Article excerpt

IT REALLY is hard to think of another example where taxpayer's money is spent deliberately damaging vulnerable children's lives.

Last week the Human Rights Inquiry into Children in Detention heard a number of distressing accounts from health professionals employed in Australia's off-shore detention centres.

A hearing aid taken from a child. Medication and medical records destroyed.

Accounts of sexual abuse and children self-harming.

The author of the recent Australian Churches Taskforce on Refugees report on children in detention, the Reverend Dr Peter Catt, describes the policy as state sanctioned child abuse.

More than 150 school students gathered in Queens Park last Wednesday as part of a lantern walk for refugees and asylum seekers.

A statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops was read out.

In part it stated, "The policy can win acceptance only if the asylum seekers are kept faceless and nameless. It depends upon a process of de-humanisation. Such a policy would be widely rejected if the faces and names were known. Bishops have seen the faces; we know the names; we have heard the stories. That is why we say now, enough of this institutionalised cruelty."

Some might find it a bit rich for the churches to be labelling a policy child abuse.

Fair rap, but as Human Rights Lawyer Julian Burnside says, "You don't need a bleeding heart to know that asylum seekers should be treated humanely: Just a beating one."

I've said it before -- what is immoral about the way we treat asylum seekers is that we use one group of people to send a message to others.

Last week's inquiry heard that immigration officials specifically selected young children to send to off-shore detention centres so that those watching would get the message, "Don't bother sending your children. It will make no difference. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.