A picture says 1,000 words
And these drawings from children on Christmas Island are speaking LOUDLY. Children are suffering, they are being abused. The Human Rights Commission obtained these drawings on a recent visit to Christmas Island and we were invited to 'read' them for the Guardian.
Here are some more drawings, obtained by ChilOut from the children who were detained on Manus Island under the previous government.
Unaccompanied children dumped on Nauru
Australia's Immigration MInister is guardian to any asylum seeker child who arrives without an adult relative. On 16 February 2014 Minister Morrison decided it was in the best interests of ten Hazara boys that they be sent to indefinite detention on the remote island nation of Nauru. Since then he has sent more groups of unacommpanied children, around 40 in total. Here they will have no formal education, limited healthcare, limited recreation, very limited internet access (ie: very difficult to stay in touch with any remaining family members or outside community). The policy states that asylum seekers sent to Nauru will never be settled in Australia and will face a lifetime on Nauru meaning a lifetime separated from any family.
Today* there are 177 children locked up on Nauru, around 40 of them are without any adult relative.
(latest stats dated 28 Feb 2014)
ChilOut took two independent health professionals inside Darwin's so-called Alternative Places of Detention. Our observations leave huge concern for women and babies.
Australia is today locking up at least 1,106 children.
177 children are detained on Nauru. They will never be resettled in Australia, even if found to be refugees.
Australia is the only Refugee Convention signatory to have a policy of mandatory, indefinite detention for asylum seekers.
- Opposed to the indefinite, mandatory detention of children.
- Opposed to offshore detention and 'resettlement' in PNG or Nauru.
- Opposed to the use of remote locations of detention for families and children for any length of time.
- In favour of an independent guardian for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Australia. The Minister with the power to detain children cannot also be the person appointed to act in their best interest.
- Opposed to Temporary Protection Visas
- Going to continue to operate until there is federal legislation to ensure no child is detained in an Australian immigration detention centre (or any such renamed facility) for more than 14 days.
A not-for-profit community group who seek to increase public awareness by providing accurate information showing what is happening to children inside Australia's immigration detention facilities. Our primary concern is the protection of children, that they are afforded their basic rights, freedom, healthcare, education and play. And that Australia does not have a hand in abusing and damaging children seeking our protection.
ChilOut is supported by John Connolly & Partners.