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Migration Amendment (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2015

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2013-2014-2015

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migration Amendment (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2015

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Hon Richard Marles MP



Migration Amendment (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2015

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Bill aims to enhance the safety of children in immigration detention by mandating the reporting of child abuse in onshore and offshore immigration detention facilities. 

 

Specifically, the Bill requires staff and contractors to report any instances of child abuse they observe to the Australian Border Force Commissioner, who would in turn report the abuse to the relevant authorities (e.g. AFP, Nauruan Police, state/territory police).

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The bill will have no financial impact.

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

1.     This clause provides for the Bill, when enacted, to be cited as the Migration Amendment (Mandatory Reporting) Act 2015 .

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

2.     This clause provides that clauses 1 to 3 and Schedule 1 commence on the day on which the Bill receives the Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

3.     This clause is the formal enabling provision for the Schedule to the Bill, providing that each Act specified in the Schedule is amended in accordance with the applicable items of the Schedule.  This Bill amends the Migration Act 1958.  

 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Migration Act 1958

 

Item 1 - After Division 14B

 

4.     The amendment requires that an Immigration and Border Protection worker (as defined in the Australian Border Force Act 2015 ) who has reasonable grounds to believe that a minor within a place of detention (as defined in the Migration Act 1958 ) has suffered, or is suffering, a reportable assault, must notify the Australian Border Force Commissioner in writing, within 24 hours.

 

5.     An Immigration and Border Protection worker who fails to notify the Commissioner of a reportable assault, will have committed an offence which will be subject to 60 penalty units.

 

6.     It will not be an offence if the Immigration and Border Protection worker failed to notify the Commissioner on the basis that they had a reasonable belief that another person had reported the assault.

 

7.     Subsection (5) has the effect that the amendment does not apply to workers within an offshore place of detention who are not Australian citizens.

 

8.     The amendment requires that following receipt of a notification of an assault against a minor, the Commissioner must notify the relevant authority, e.g. Australian Federal Police, State and Territory Police or police of the country where the offshore detention facility is located.  The Commissioner must also notify the relevant jurisdictional authority with respect to child safety.

 

9.     The Commissioner will be required to keep a written record of each reported assault.



STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Migration Amendment (Mandatory Reporting) Bill 2015

 

This bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the bill

 

The Bill aims to enhance the safety of children in immigration detention by mandating the reporting of child abuse in onshore and offshore immigration detention facilities. 

 

Specifically, the Bill requires staff and contractors to report any instances of child abuse they observe to the Australian Border Force Commissioner, who would in turn report the abuse to the relevant authorities (e.g. AFP, Nauruan Police, state/territory police).

 

Human rights implications

 

This Bill engages the right to privacy and reputation through the mandatory requirement to report any physical or sexual assault against a minor in immigration detention. 

 

This is considered an appropriate and reasonable limitation on rights given the objective of the Bill is to enhance the safety of children in immigration detention.

 

The requirement is also consistent with that placed on youth workers, police officers and medical practitioners who work with minors in other settings, e.g. schools, state and territory care and juvenile detention.

 

Conclusion

 

This bill is compatible with human rights because to the extent that it may limit the right to privacy and reputation, those limitations are reasonable, necessary and proportionate given the objective of the Bill is to enhance the safety of children in immigration detention.

 

 

 

 

Hon Richard Marles MP