Guide to Giving
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics

Amnesty Warning on Asylum Seekers


Thursday, 14th October 2010 at 2:26 pm
Staff Reporter
Amnesty International has warned that detention conditions on Christmas Island are deteriorating rapidly and asylum seekers there, as well as in other detention centres around the country, are at grave risk of self-harm and mental illness.

Thursday, 14th October 2010
at 2:26 pm
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Amnesty Warning on Asylum Seekers
Thursday, 14th October 2010 at 2:26 pm

Amnesty International has warned that detention conditions on Christmas Island are deteriorating rapidly and asylum seekers there, as well as in other detention centres around the country, are at grave risk of self-harm and mental illness.

An Amnesty International delegation has just returned from an inspection tour of Christmas Island, the Curtin detention centre in Western Australia, and detention facilities in Darwin.

Dr Graham Thom, Refugee Campaign Coordinator for Amnesty International Australia says morale within Australia’s detention facilities is quickly getting worse, leading to rising incidences of self-harm and attempted suicide.

Dr Thom says the mood on Christmas Island is particularly despondent with grown men he met reduced to tears and showing blatant symptoms of a system that is failing the people it is supposed to protect.

He says with some 5,000 asylum seekers now being held in unacceptable conditions in centres across Australia, Amnesty International is calling on the government to urgently rethink the policies of mandatory detention and offshore processing.

He says conditions on Christmas Island are especially worrying with more than 350 people are being detained in tent-style accommodation and additional facilities are hastily being erected to cope with new arrivals. Some asylum seekers have been detained on the remote island for over 16 months.

Amnesty says it is unacceptable that the government has let the situation deteriorate to the point where asylum seekers are self-harming.

It says the Australian Government has a legal responsibility not to arbitrarily detain asylum seekers, or to subject them to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Amnesty International does not believe current detention conditions are in keeping with this responsibility.

Dr Graham Thom says the Gillard Government needs to urgently move to a more sustainable means of processing asylum applications on the Australian mainland and the last thing Australia should be seeking to do is export the problem to countries such as East Timor, when it is clear that our government has so far been incapable of dealing with the situation humanely on its own territory.

Amnesty International believes that as a matter of priority, the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, should immediately arrange appropriate community alternatives to detention for families with children, unaccompanied minors and survivors of torture and trauma.

From 2 – 9 October 2010 Amnesty International visited the Northern Immigration Detention Centre and the APODs (alternative places of detention) in Darwin, the Curtin Immigration Detention Centre, and detention facilities on Christmas Island.

The visit was organised in cooperation with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. While visiting the centres Amnesty International had the opportunity to meet with detained asylum seekers on both an individual and group basis. The organisation also met with staff and service providers.
 



Guide to Giving

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Vic Concerns Over Lack of NDIS Complaints

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 26th September 2017 at 8:24 am

Mental Health Groups Call for Same-Sex Marriage to Prevent Suicide

Luke Michael

Thursday, 21st September 2017 at 4:24 pm

Public Interest / Private Interest – A Fundamental Distinction

David Crosbie

Thursday, 14th September 2017 at 8:46 am

POPULAR

Moves to Stop Volunteering at Overseas Orphanages

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 13th September 2017 at 1:54 pm

Future Uncertain for Disability Organisations Following Funding Cuts

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at 8:29 am

Majority of NFPs Are Not Believed to be Well-Run, According to New Survey

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 12th September 2017 at 4:14 pm

More Australians Are Giving Time Not Money

Wendy Williams

Monday, 11th September 2017 at 5:07 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Guide to Giving
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!