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Monday, 16 June 2003
Page: 16381


Mr ORGAN (1:50 PM) —On 27 May 2003, ChilOut, a group of Australian parents and citizens opposed to the incarceration of children in Australian immigration detention centres, released a detailed report on the treatment of children in those centres. This report had been presented to the minister and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs in February 2003. I seek leave to table this report.

Leave granted.


Mr ORGAN —The ChilOut report, entitled The heart of the nation's existence, presents a litany of examples where ACM, the private firm which managed these detention centres, has failed to abide by the terms of its contract. This report clearly reveals that, when cases of abuse were revealed, the minister and his department failed to adequately police this contract—that is, they failed to enforce any sort of compassionate and rational quality assurance program. This report is a scathing indictment of the government's handling of this issue, and it highlights the fact that mandatory detention must be halted immediately. Australians cannot stand idly by and witness the mistreatment of children, carried out in our name and on our behalf. This is an issue of human rights, not politics. Any child in detention is one child too many.