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Royal Commission into youth detention should be national: Greens



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No publication date - received by Parl Library 27 July 2016

Media Release

Royal Commission into youth detention should be national: Greens

The Royal Commission into youth detention should be national, with evidence of abuse in other states deserving of investigation, say the Australian Greens.

“The Greens have welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to a Royal Commission following the horrifying report on ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday about violence and abuse in the Don Dale detention facility,” Greens leader Richard Di Natale said today.

“We, as a community, have failed the ten, eleven and twelve year olds who have ended up locked behind bars, and we will fail them again unless the Prime Minister gives the Royal Commission the scope to investigate the incarceration, abuse and treatment of children wherever they are; and commits to implementing the Commission’s recommendations.

“A Royal Commission that leads to no action, will lead to us failing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids, and their communities, again. 25 years have passed since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody yet many of the recommendations have still not been implemented, and the mass incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples remains a national shame.

“The Greens share concerns of many Aboriginal leaders that if the scope of the Royal Commission is too narrow or there is no commitment to implementing changes then it will fail to resolve deep rooted and systemic problems that have become entrenched over years, and have failed to be resolved through previous investigation or successive governments.

I urge Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull to commit to the full implementation of the recommendations from this Royal Commission and to stop ignoring so many of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.”

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said:

“I urge the Prime Minister to keep the terms of reference broad and investigate youth detention beyond the Don Dale youth detention centre.

“The Royal Commission should focus on and report first on the Northern Territory and Don Dale, and the second part should investigate youth detention across the country. This approach will ensure that the NT gets the urgent attention it needs, whilst still ensuring a national investigation.

“Whilst we move swiftly towards carrying out a Royal Commission, the Prime Minister must guarantee the safety of children in youth detention in the interim. The Prime Minister must ensure an independent monitoring of youth detention facilities”.

Media contacts: Senator Di Natale - Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600 Senator Siewert - Nadine Walker 0418 401 180