OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Inhumane conditions for children held in detention centers for immigrants

Monday, 10 February 2014

Canberra (Agenzia Fides) - The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has recently launched a research regarding the situation of over a thousand children held in prisons for immigrants on the Christmas Islands in Australia, Nauru and Papua New Guinea. According to the Commission, it is children who, among other things, do not have the freedom of movement, so many lose the most important years of their lives behind bars, in highly stressful environments. The study is needed to verify the impact of detention on the mental health of children, cases of self-harm and the feedback of the Australian authorities made before sending them to these centers.
What is lacking, according to experts, is the collaboration of the Australian Department of Immigration, which in recent months has not given the AHRC much information. In 2004, what was highlighted in the first report of the AHRC was that the detention of minor asylum-seekers was incompatible with the obligations concerning human rights in Australia.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as other organizations for the protection of human rights, has condemned the "inhuman" conditions in prisons for immigrants that Australia manages in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. The largest Country in Oceania has become a desired destination for Asian migrants in search of a better life. However, most of them are intercepted by the Coast Guard and brought to Australian detention centers in other Countries, while others capsize and die. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 10/02/2014)