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Statement regarding mandatory detention of minors at Pontville Immigration Detention Centre



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27 August 2013

STATEMENT REGARDING THE MANDATORY DETENTION OF MINORS AT PONTVILLE IMMIGRATION DETENTION CENTRE

The release of 200 children from Pontville Immigration Detention Centre is a positive development.

However both the current and alternative governments must commit to a policy framework which does not place children in mandatory detention.

The release of the 200 minors at Pontville, in the absence of a fundamental policy change, looks more like political damage control than any genuine expression of humanitarianism. And in any case the release into the community of dozens of minors some months ago simply made room for more to be dumped there.

These children have done nothing wrong by seeking asylum in Australia. Yet they are condemned to extended periods of mandatory detention in what amounts to jail-like conditions.

We know that mandatory detention has a major negative impact on the mental health of these children and there have been reports of self-harm and attempted suicide from within Pontville detention centre.

I call on both major parties to end the cruel policy of mandatory detention of children.

For more information: Django Merope-Synge 0428 528 673