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HREOC report on children in detention welcomed.

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HREOC report on children in detention welcomed

Senator Brian Harradine today welcomed the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Report A last resort? National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention. The report was released earlier today. The Inquiry has found that the system of detention is not consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“Detention centres are not places for children”, Senator Harradine said.

“There is a debate over adults seeking asylum in Australia, but we should not allow children to become victims of that debate. The children have obviously done nothing wrong.

“The Government should find a way around this problem to ensure that children do not continue to spend years behind razor wire in detention centres. Children are not a flight risk and should not be punished in this way.

“Children should be allowed to live in the Australian community, to attend school with children of their own age and to enjoy a normal and safe childhood.

“Three years ago I made a qualifying comment to the Human Rights Sub-Committee report on immigration detention centres, calling for the release of women, children and family units where their detention was not necessary for security or some other compelling reason.

“By last count, there were still over one hundred children in detention.”

13 May 2004

Senator Brian Harradine, tel. 02 6277 3735