5th Hearing Announced - Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention
On Tuesday, 9 September 2014, the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, will be convening a fifth public hearing of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, in Sydney.
The witness to appear before the Inquiry is the Hon Chris Bowen MP, who was the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship from September 2010 until February 2013.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend as observers. Details for the hearing are as follows;
Expert reports from visits to immigration detention centres
Wednesday 3 September, 2014
The Commission visited various immigration detention centres as part of the Inquiry.
The Commission was accompanied by various independent consultants including paediatricians and child psychiatrists. The following are some of the reports prepared by these consultants after their visits to immigration detention centres.
These expert reports do not represent the views of the Commission.
Visit to Christmas Island from 1 – 8 March 2014:
Media Statement - Children in Immigration Detention
The President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, warmly welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, that children under the age of 10 and their families will be released from locked detention into the community by the end of the year.
A primary objective of the Commission’s National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (2014) has been to see the release of all children in detention and this goes some way to achieving this aim.
As part of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014, inquiry staff visited immigration detention facilities to speak to children in detention. During these visits, staff gave the children paper and textas and asked them to draw something about their life. These drawings are the children’s submissions to the inquiry. Staff asked the children for their permission to publish their pictures.
The right of all children to express their views on matters affecting them is a guiding principle of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Australia is party. Article 12(1) of the Convention provides that:
States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
Commission’s previous work on children in immigration detention
Tuesday 5 August, 2014
The Commission has long held serious concerns about the impact of Australia’s mandatory immigration detention system, particularly on children.
In 1999-2000 the numbers of children in detention began to significantly increase. In November 2001, when there were over 700 children in detention, Human Rights Commissioner Dr Sev Ozdowski announced an inquiry into children in immigration detention. The Inquiry published its report, A last resort? National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, in April 2004.
Submissions made to the inquiry
Thursday 12 June, 2014
Please note: In accordance with the terms of the submissions process, the inquiry has:
not listed below or published any confidential submissions; and
in some cases, edited or not published (where an edited copy could not reasonably be published) the non-confidential submissions, in order to protect the identity of the authors, third parties, or where otherwise appropriate.
The Commission notes that the submissions listed below may contain errors. The submissions do not represent the views of the Commission.
Transcripts from the inquiry's public hearings
Wednesday 11 June, 2014
Public Hearing in Sydney, Tuesday, 9 September 2014
The fifth public hearing of the inquiry was held at the Australian Human Rights Commission on Tuesday, 9th September.
The witness for this hearing was the Hon Chris Bowen MP, who was the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship from September 2010 until February 2013.
Information about children in immigration detention
Friday 31 January, 2014
National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014
Thursday 30 January, 2014
An age of uncertainty - Inquiry into the treatment of individuals suspected of people smuggling offences who say that they are children
This report makes disturbing reading. It documents numerous breaches by Australia of both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As a nation that is understandably anxious that the rights of our own children should be respected when they come into contact with the authorities of other countries, it is troubling that between late 2008 and late 2011 Australian authorities apparently gave little weight to the rights of this cohort of young Indonesians.