DETENTION DISGRACE – Legislated time
limit on detention a must.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
Joint Select Committee Inquiry into Detention Report describes in 221 pages of
evidence, an immigration detention system that is out of control and
shameful. The conclusion is unequivocal. The time for legislation is now.
Only through a legislated time limit on detention can the current arbitrary
indefinite detention system be brought under control.
promises made by successive governments have failed. “In May 2005, Petro
Georgiou undertook to introduce legislation which would have effectively ended
indefinite detention and limited detention to 90 days. It would also have ended
the detention of families and children by law. Unfortunately this was scuttled
by the Howard government which watered down the reforms from legislation to
unenforceable policy. Senator Chris Evans also tried with the New Values in
Detention in July 2008 which never made it into law. Seven years later we are
facing a crisis situation. The evidence before us now is a system in crisis
with seven deaths in eighteen months, people in dire distress, ‘widespread’
mental illness and a culture of neglect and denial”, says Pamela Curr of the
Government cannot ignore the overwhelming and unequivocal support for
legislative changes outlined in the report from agencies including, but not
limited to, the UNHCR, Gilbert & Tobin Centre for Public Law, Law Council
of Australia, Labor for Refugees (Vic), Forum of Australian Services for
Survivors of Torture and Trauma, Migration Institute of Australia, Jesuit
Refugee Service Australia, Castan Centre for Human Rights, Refugee Advice and
Casework Service NSW, Liberty Victoria, International Detention Coalition,
Australian Psychological Society, Uniting Church Australia, Refugee Council of
Australia and the International Refugee and Migration Law Project UNSW.
watered down reforms have proved ineffective in protecting asylum seekers from
indefinite long term detention which is the cause of so much damage and harm to
their mental and physical health. Ms Curr reinforces – ‘this is why we now need
a legislated time limit so that indefinite detention of people seeking asylum
ceases once and for all’.
A young man who received a positive
refugee and security decision in August 2011 remained in detention for a
further 8 months because he was charged with breaking a computer. He was flown
from Melbourne to Perth to Christmas Island with guards to face Court. When he
got there, charges were dropped. There was no evidence and the guard witness
said that he had made a mistake in identifying the man. He was then flown
back to Melbourne where he waited a further 7 weeks for release and was only
released last week with no explanation or charges. This man spent 8
months in detention losing his mind for no reason. He is not alone.
only way to uphold our obligations under the Refugee Convention and ensure
detention is a last resort for the shortest time possible is to enshrine these
principles in law.
media comment please call: Pamela Curr on 0417 517 075
Jana Favero on 0438 829 651 www.asrc.org.au
-- Pamela Curr
Campaign Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 12 Batman st West Melbourne
3003 ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075 "NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE AN ASYLUM
Dear Fellow Bloggers,
For some time I have thought about starting a left of centre news and commentary service and I have tried to do this by using email. But as some good, but email overloaded friends have suggested, a better way to go may be by blogging.
So here it is! Jenny's Red News. My primary interests are left of centre politics and the very important question of how can we get left of centre parties, groups and grouplets in Australia working together more co-operatively. The right of centre predominates politics in this country at the present time, and they are on the march.
We on the left of centre need to work together more co-operatively and constructively to put the left of centre agenda out there, for the perusal and consumption of the Australian people.
Particular topics that will be reported on and on which comments are welcome are:
Industrial relations - Opposition to Workchoices
Refugee and Asylum Seekers
Opposition to the Welfare to Work Changes
Health System Reform
Aboriginal Health and Reconciliation
posted by JENNY'S RED NEWS at 12:50 AM 0 comments