OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - "Free the Children" campaign for the release of immigrant children held in prison

Friday, 13 February 2015

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - The Australian Commission for Human Rights has just published its conclusions on the detention of immigrant children. In this regard, Catholic Mission, official body of the Pontifical Mission Societies that takes care of minors, reported its disappointment to Agenzia Fides. "We are very concerned about the conclusions of this report - especially the psychological damage that is being caused to children who are still in detention", said Martin Teulan, National Director of Catholic Mission to Fides. "The children are forced to live in deplorable conditions that will have a severe impact in the long term, especially in the island state of Nauru, where there are still 119 children with an uncertain future. We strongly believe that the detention of immigrants is never, under any circumstances, in the interest of the child. We therefore call for their immediate release", said Teulan.
"The report highlights that the law and Australian politics violate the important principle of human rights according to which children may be detained only as a last resort and for the shortest possible time. We support the key recommendation of the report to amend the law on migration in order to specify a strictly limited period of time of detention of minors", said the national director.
Catholic Mission, as a member of the Australian Coalition to end the detention of immigrant children, coordinated "Free the Children", to involve the entire community about this problem and that will end only with the release of all children. "Prison policy of children is unsustainable, and this could be an opportunity for the Government to take the sensible decision to release all children detained in facilities, both on land and on the islands" concludes Martin Teulan. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 13/02/2015)