ChilOut is 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.
The Government's latest statistics, dated 31 December 2014, reveal that:
- 420 children are held in immigration detention facilities within Australia;
- 135 children are held in detention on Nauru;
- 1,556 children are detained in the community under residence determinations, a system referrred to as community detention; and
2,205 children are living in the community on bridging visas which mean their parents generally have no work rights and very limited access to any Government support.
Whilst ChilOut welcomes the Government's promised release of many children from immigration detention, we are deeply disappointed by the new laws that were passed by the Australian Parliament earlier this month. These laws significantly curtail Australia’s obligations to asylum seekers and refugees and will have negative consequences for children and their families. We are also extremely disappointed that the Government's promised release of children does not include children in detention on Nauru. You can read ChilOut’s official statement on the new laws here.
ChilOut is being asked several questions about these new laws including:
- What do the new laws mean for the release of children from detention?
- If the Minister has always had the power to release children from detention, why are we being told these new laws will mean that children are released?
- How many children will be released and what will happen to them once released?
- What about the children in detention on Nauru, will they be released?
- Why does ChilOut believe the new laws will have negative consequences for children and their families?
- What is so bad about Temporary Protection Visas and why is ChilOut opposed to them?
- What will happen to children who arrive in Australia in the future seeking protection?
For answers to all of these questions, please go to our New Legislation page.
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- 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.
ChilOut is supported by John Connolly & Partners.