- 2856 children (aged under 18 years) in immigration detention (more than Feb). Of these;
- 1632 are in secure locked facilities, 570 more than 4wks earlier
- 1224 are detained in the community under residence determinations
- 566 children are detained on Christmas Island and Cocos Island.
Reports and Analysis
April 2013 - Australian Human Rights Commission - Human Rights Standards for Immigration Detention An easy to use, straughtforwrd guide to Australia's obligations.
February 2013 - UNHCR report on Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Calls for 'an end to the practice of detaining children on Manus Island as a matter of priority'.
December 2012- Hear our Voices. Formerly detained children present at the UN. Featuring ChilOut Youth Ambassador Bashir Yousufi.
December 2012- Australian Human Rights Commission Observations from visit to Immigration detention facilities on Christmas Island.
October 2012 ChilOut in Geneva: On 28 September 2012, children who had been held in immigration detention – including ChilOut’s Youth Ambassadors – attended a United Nations’ event called ‘Hear our Voices – Children in Immigration Detention’. ChilOut joined children from Greece, Turkey, Israel, Norway and the United States at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the increasing use of immigration detention, and more importantly, its impact on children around the world, as seen through the eyes of the children.
September 2012 Back to the Future or Groundhog Day for Refugee Policy? an article by Mary Cock, Daniel Ghezelbash and Jane McAdam that explores how the Gillard Government has been paralysed by domestic politics and the Australian publics paroxysmal concern with refugee boats.
March 2012 Captured Childhood. International Detention Coalitions alternatives to detention.
August 2012 Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers The Government convened a panel of three experts and gave them six weeks to receive submissions, consult and prepare a report focused on providing a way forward for Australia's asylum policy. This came about after the political impasse on the issue in the May / June session of Parliament.
July 2012 Australian Human Rights Commission report: Community Arrangements for asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons Based on observations from visits to detention facilities from December 2011 - May 2012. Recommends Australia adopt community options as the norm, not a presumption to detain. Speaks of the particualr vulnerabilities of children in our current immigration detention system.
July 2012 Australian Human Rights Commission Age of Uncertainty report looking into Australia's treatment of suspected people smugglers who claim to be under the age of 18. Critical of Australia's treatment of children, lengthy periods in adult prisons, use of dubious wrist x-rays to determine age.
Final report of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Australia's Immigration Detention Network. Included reccomendations such as 90 day limit on immigration detention, that an independent guardian replace the Minister for Immigration as guardian of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum and that children in particular not be detained in remote parts of Australia. Here's our short summary of the report
Captured Childhood, released 21 March 2012 by the International Detention Coalition. The report looks at the practices of eight nations (including Australia) in relation to their treatment of asylum seeking children. A best practice model is suggested and it is noted that it is 'never in the best interests of a child to be detained for immigration purposes'.
A National Commissioner for Australia's Children. NGO Sector report available via Unicef (et al), released December 2011. Endorsed by ChilOut and over 30 other organisations this position paper covers the multiple reasons why Australia requires a Children's Commissioner and addresses the huge flaw that exists in our present system whereby the Minister for Immigration is both the guardian and detainer of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.
A New Approach: Breaking the stalemate on refugees and asylum seekers December 2011 released by the Centre for Poilcy Development critiques Australia's policies and makes recommendations that are in keeping with international law and balances humane treatment with security and other concerns.
Long-Term Health Costs of Extended Mandatory Detention of Asylum Seekers. Yarra Institute, October 2011.
A New Approach. Breaking the Stalemate on Refugees and Asylum Seekers. August 2011. ChilOut Chair, Kate Gauthier, has contributed to a major report in conjunction with former Secretary of the Department of Immigration, John Menadue, and DIAC careerist, Arja Keski-Nummi. The report first and foremost calls for a reframing of the debate. They recommend establishing:
- An independent and professional commission, with a small secretariat and budget, to facilitate informed public debate.
- An independent Refugee, Asylum and Humanitarian Assistance Authority to administer the policy and programs that fall under Australia's offshore and onshore humanitarian programs underpinned by legislation that clearly articulates the values, principles and objectives of Australia's refugee and asylum policies.
No Place for Children: Immigration Detention on Christmas Island. June 2011. A ChilOut report prepared following our April 2011 to Christmas Island which, despite much forward planning and approvals gained, was a far more restricted a visit than we had envisaged. The report addresses ChilOut's policy concerns and the current international breaches Australia is engaged in by treating asylum seeker children the way it currently does. Also presented are details of daily life for children detained on Christmas Island, such as a 4year old boy excluded from playgroup as he is deemed to old, but there is no alternate group for him to take part in
"Humanitarian entrants help meet labour shortages, including in low skill and low paid occupations. They display strong entrepreneurial qualities compared with other migrant groups, with a higher than average proportion engaging in small and medium business enterprises."
Report on Conditions in Detention. Amnesty International Australia, October 2010. Darwin Asti APOD: The site was extremely overcrowded with families living in very close proximity to each other. Despite the extreme heat, there is practically no shade or areas where children can play. There is no grass area either as the site is all concreted. There is no suitable space for activities to be conducted. Many of the women Al spoke to feared they were losing thier minds from boredom and anxiety at the uncertainty of their situation. The women told Al that nearly all of them were on anti depressant and sleeping medication.