Date: 
Tuesday 20 November 2018

The Australian Human Rights Commission has released the reports of its inspections of the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre (CIIDC) and Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA) facilities.

These reports follow the Commission’s inspections of the CIIDC and BITA facilities in mid-late 2017.  The CIIDC, which has since been placed into contingency, is a high-security detention facility located on Christmas Island, a remote territory of Australia approximately 2,650 kilometres north-west of Perth.

The Commission has long expressed concern that the CIIDC—due to its remoteness, the nature of its security infrastructure, and the limited access to facilities and services on Christmas Island—is not an appropriate facility for immigration detention, particularly for people who are vulnerable or have been detained for prolonged periods of time.

The Commission has previously recommended that detention facilities on Christmas Island, including the CIIDC, be closed.

The Commission welcomes the Australian Government’s decision to place the CIIDC into contingency and move all people detained there to the Australian mainland.  The Commission hopes this is a step towards permanent closure of the facility.

The BITA is a small, low-security detention facility adjacent to Brisbane airport. The Commission found that facilities in the main compound of the BITA were generally adequate for short periods of detention. However, the BITA is not an appropriate facility for people who are likely to be in detention for extended periods of time.

The Commission also raised concerns that the high-security Fraser compound at the BITA was not an appropriate place of immigration detention. This compound has since been demolished and replaced with two larger high-security compounds.

In the reports, the Commission makes recommendations for improving Australia’s compliance with international human rights obligations relating to immigration detention.

The Commission acknowledges the assistance received for its inspections of detention facilities from the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and from detention service providers.

The Department of Home Affairs has responded to the Commission’s recommendations. These responses are published alongside the Commission reports.

Read the reports and the Department’s responses here: