✪✪✪ First Boat In Australia Case Study

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First Boat In Australia Case Study

First Boat In Australia Case Study, in January and First Boat In Australia Case Studythe Minister declared First Boat In Australia Case Study homes in Adelaide to be First Boat In Australia Case Study of detention for unaccompanied children in foster care home-based detention. In cross-examinationCollins did not First Boat In Australia Case Study his account, but made him confirm the appalling conditions on the boat, First Boat In Australia Case Study own cannibalism, their inevitable death without First Boat In Australia Case Study to Parker's body and the belief that Parker would have First Boat In Australia Case Study first. However, it appears that the children's father only learned of his family's presence in Australia, by coincidence, First Boat In Australia Case Study year after their arrival. Every day, the kids would fight because they were so close together. All these Lev Vygotskys Cultural-Historical Theory Analysis that are spending First Boat In Australia Case Study or years in detention, they have not done anything wrong, they are not criminals First Boat In Australia Case Study they should listen to them. Artec First Boat In Australia Case Study. Collins responded First Boat In Australia Case Study citing United States v. Denial of Access to Do Violent Video Games Cause People? Records First Boat In Australia Case Study least five refugees and asylum seekers reported that their personal requests for their medical records have been Essay On Nurse Anesthetist or have yielded First Boat In Australia Case Study records — lacking information on surgery they had First Boat In Australia Case Study, for example.

Asylum seekers will still get on the boats to Australia

It was the last substantial scheme for preferential migration from the British Isles to Australia. The scheme reached its peak in , when more than 80, migrants took advantage of the scheme. While the term "Ten Pound Pom" is in common use, the scheme was not limited to migrants from the United Kingdom. People born in the Irish Free State or in the southern counties of Ireland before the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in were also classified as British subjects.

Australia also operated schemes to assist selected migrants from other countries, notably the Netherlands , Italy , Greece , West Germany and Turkey Assisted migrants were generally obliged to remain in Australia for two years after arrival, or alternatively refund the cost of their assisted passage. This was part of the wider White Australia policy. An estimated quarter of those British migrants returned to the UK within the qualifying period, however, half of these—the so-called "Boomerang Poms"—returned to Australia.

Before 1 December , migrants to Australia from Commonwealth countries were eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after one year's residence in Australia. In the residence requirement was extended to three years, then reduced to two years in November However, relatively few British migrants—compared to other post-war arrivals, such as Italians , Greeks and Turks —took up Australian citizenship. Consequently, many may have lost their Australian residency status later on, usually through leaving Australia. The Government of New Zealand initiated a similar immigration scheme in July From to , the scheme applied to further European countries, with a total of 1, immigrants.

Another Prime Minister, Tony Abbott , migrated in under the scheme, although his father had already lived in Australia after arriving at the beginning of the Second World War on a Blue Funnel Liner , and his mother was an Australian expatriate living in Britain at the time of his birth. England fast bowlers Harold Larwood in [14] and Frank Tyson in also took advantage of the scheme when they retired from cricket. The Bee Gees Gibb brothers spent their first few years in Chorlton-cum-Hardy , Manchester , England, then moved in the late s to Redcliffe in Queensland , where they began their musical careers.

The five original members of the Easybeats migrated independently and formed their band after arriving in Sydney. Lead singer Stevie Wright migrated from Leeds , England. Harry Vanda migrated from the Hague , Netherlands , and George Young migrated from Glasgow , Scotland , to become the twin guitars and later the songwriting team that took the Easybeats to the world with " Friday on My Mind ". Malcolm after being diagnosed with a severe memory loss disorder was replaced by nephew Stevie Young , who had travelled on the same flight to Australia in as his uncles George, Malcolm and Angus.

Other musical artists to have migrated to Australia under the scheme include John Farnham , Jimmy Barnes. Businessman Alan Bond moved to Australia with his family in According to Roberts, he "was brought up in an English household and Australia existed outside the front door. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Post-war immigration to Australia. BBC News. Retrieved 18 January This family should be immediately removed from the detention context. Until this is possible, they should be moved to live in the Woomera housing project'.

When not offered the option of release, this family chose to be housed in the housing project at the sacrifice of separation. At the end of October ACM health staff wrote that:. It is obvious that [the mother] is struggling to come to terms with her continued separation from her husband and the continued mental illness amongst her children. The Department states that the problem of separation was resolved by family visits to the Woomera detention centre:. Although male members of the family over 12 years of age are not eligible to participate, the integrity of the family unit [is maintained] by ensuring participants regularly visit family remaining in the Woomera IRPC. These visits are made once or twice a week. However, several detainees at the housing project complained to Inquiry staff that these visits were much less frequent than they would like.

ACM policy allows daily visits; however, there are differing views on how often those visits occurred in practice. Detainees suggested the visits were less frequent and ACM confirmed that detainees 'were unable to visit the Woomera IRPC on demand and at short notice, however that was usually due to the availability of transport'. However, ACM also highlighted that detainees were often taken to the detention centre for medical and legal appointments as well as for recreational activities. In any event, the visiting scheme was little consolation to the fathers left in the facility for the majority of time.

The Inquiry received evidence of a serious decline in the mental health of fathers after being separated from their family. One father deteriorated so seriously that his wife and son decided to go back to the detention centre to support him. Another problem with the visiting scheme was that some children felt so traumatised by returning to the facility that they did not want to go there and visit:.

I want my dad to go to the housing because I don't want to go back to the centre. I don't like [to go] back to [the] centre. I remember all of my bad times. I can't [go] back to centre. The Department stated that in April it had begun to 'trial visits by fathers to the Project site'. People like you come, then they organise some programs or plans for them. For example, for long time before that, [the children] were saying we want our father to come over and visit but it wasn't allowed but then, [name removed] came this Saturday and they were allowed to come from 12 till 4. They came over and then they said 'That's it', that was finished, that was only one time so, because they knew you were coming. A child detained in the housing project reported in September that her father had only come to visit her once:.

Before they can't come to visit. Only one week ago they let men come. With the closure of the Woomera detention centre in April , fathers were then detained more than km away at Baxter. The Department told the Inquiry that there were regular visits including a mid-week day visit by fathers and older boys from Baxter to the Woomera housing project. There were also weekend visits of the mothers and children from the housing project to Baxter. Family members could stay overnight in the Baxter facility. The Department emphasises that detainees' transfer to housing projects is voluntary and therefore the splitting of the family is a choice that parents can make for themselves.

However, it is of concern to the Inquiry that parents are forced into the position of choosing between the family being together and allowing their children to live in a more hospitable environment than a secure detention centre. This so-called choice is contrary to the spirit of the CRC which provides both that the detention be a matter of last resort and that the family stay together. It is also inconsistent with the Department's argument that it is in the best interests of children to be detained with their parents, as discussed below. It appeared to the Inquiry that while women and children were initially extremely relieved to be able to leave Woomera detention centre and happy about the improved environment, as time went on the 'freedoms' of the Woomera housing project seemed less and less significant.

For instance, while many of the women were pleased to be able to do their own shopping and cooking, some felt insulted that they did not have control over what they could buy:. They won't give you, you know free like that you can enjoy from your shopping. Now any time since I am [at the housing project], any time I would go to shopping I come back upset with a headache because just they make it bitter for us, like there's discussing about everything. The independent report that the Department commissioned in March addressed these tensions and recommended the following:. Guidance, not heavy handed direction, is what is required.

Not the sort of action recounted to me by a local Woomera resident who was in a checkout queue and said she was greatly embarrassed for a Project resident when a staff member loudly went though her shopping and took out all items which she decided the resident could not have. Several of the women who spoke to the Inquiry also highlighted that having several families sharing a three-bedroom house created serious friction. This was exacerbated by the already fragile mental state of most of the mothers.

The doctor for housing project detainees presented the problem as follows:. It is not hard to understand that when you place a number of families all of which are suffering from mental illness into the same accommodation it is almost certain that the abnormal social dynamics which will develop will lead to problems. Another problem raised by both detainee mothers and health staff was that often one mentally ill mother ended up looking after the child of another mentally ill mother.

While there appears to have been some desire to help one another, the lack of special support for these arrangements caused substantial tensions between families living in the same house. If the Whyalla housing project [proposed for Baxter] is like Woomera then it is no good. You can't put three families in a house with 1 toilet, 1 oven etc. You need a house for every family. Another family described the impact that the crowded housing had on the ability of the children to learn:.

At that house there are three rooms and it's been allocated for three families and then [the children] need to study, they need to study other lessons or English but it's difficult, it's impossible because of the house, the house is full of people. And then there is only one wardrobe, they have their clothing there And that's why they always cry, all the time they're crying. Home-based detention refers to a system whereby members of the community are designated as persons authorised to 'detain' children and their families. As the Department explains it:.

January - two months after this Inquiry was announced - was the first time that the Department actively pursued the option of home-based places of detention for unaccompanied children. The effect of this initiative was that by the end of April , 17 of the unaccompanied children who were still detained in Woomera and Curtin at that time had been transferred to places in the community, went to schools in Adelaide and otherwise moved around Adelaide as long as they remained in declared places or in the presence of directed persons. Later in the year a further two unaccompanied children were transferred from Woomera detention centre to home-based detention.

As at 28 November , there were five unaccompanied children in detention centres two in Villawood and three on Christmas Island and ten unaccompanied children in home-based places of detention. A child detained with relatives who were not his parents, was transferred into the care of family in the community in , after two and half years in detention centres. At least four children detained with their parents were also placed in home-based detention without their parents - one in August and three siblings in November Only two whole families were transferred to home-based detention between and The arrangements for the transfer of just under 20 unaccompanied children to foster carer homes as places of detention over commenced 'at the time of the tensions in Woomera IRPC in January The documents provided by the Department indicate that the sequence of events immediately leading up to these arrangements was as follows.

The Deputy Manager states:. I would like to look into the possibility of having these minors alternatively housed, outside the detention centre environment. This may not be possible, as a delegate of the Minister would have to consider the issuing of a bridging visa before any of the minors could be released from detention. However, I would like to ask your assurance in assessing the needs of these children - and looking into whether or not appropriate families could be located for any or all of them - with a view to making a recommendation concerning possible bridging visa issue.

This has been done from this centre once before that I am aware of. On 16 January , hunger strikes began in Woomera in response to the Minister's announcement that all processing of applications by Afghan asylum seekers would be halted. The hunger strikes were accompanied by acts of self-harm. FAYS was called in to assess children participating in these events. On 24 January , the Executive Director of FAYS wrote to the Acting First Assistant Secretary of the Department providing the name and address of the foster carers who would look after the children mentioned in the 14 January letter.

The children were not issued with bridging visas but rather transferred to foster carer homes which had been declared places of detention. On 26 January , the Executive Director of FAYS wrote to the Department stating that another three unaccompanied minors who were self-harming should be 'removed as a matter of urgency from the Detention Centre'. The Department of Human Services remains seriously concerned regarding all minors in Woomera. They have stated that they are intending to 'group suicide' and whilst this statement can be regarded as an attempt to pressure the Commonwealth government to release them from detention the risk of suicide remains high.

This is particularly so given the hopelessness expressed by them and the tendency to reinforce one another's behaviour. The Department strongly recommends that these young people be placed outside of the Woomera Detention Centre. The assessment report in relation to those children attributes their behaviour to 'exposure to recent self harm behaviours and the movement out of Woomera of other [unaccompanied children]'. By 7 February , nine more unaccompanied children had been moved to foster carer homes in Adelaide which had been declared as alternative places of detention. The South Australian authorities also made several recommendations for the removal of children with their parents from Woomera into the community.

None of these children were transferred to home-based alternative places of detention. The Department should be commended for acting so quickly to remove unaccompanied children from Woomera during the chaotic period of January However, the Department's action during this time raises several questions:. Unaccompanied children transferred to home-based detention can live in a home and go to a community school like other children, except that they must be 'held by or on behalf of an officer'. Should they want to go anywhere that is not a declared place of detention, they must be accompanied by an officer or other person who is approved by the Department a directed person.

The Department retains ultimate control and responsibility for the children's care and whereabouts. The first version of the draft agreement with DHS regarding alternative detention arrangements was exchanged on 24 January As at 28 November there was still no signed agreement. Under the July draft agreement, the Department 'maintains ultimate duty of care for all detainee minors' and is 'responsible for any compliance action which is required should a detainee minor abscond'. However, it is the responsibility of 'directed persons', who will usually be DHS staff, teachers and foster carers, to 'remain with the child during any time they are outside an approved place of detention', for example, if there is a school excursion.

If it appears to a directed person that the child may try to disappear, 'the directed persons are expected to use their powers of persuasion, conflict resolution and negotiation to attempt to gain the detainee minor's cooperation', 96 but are not expected to use force. The Department emphasises that it must conduct a 'responsible and considered assessment of alternative arrangements' and that these assessments can take time.

However, as set out above, the series of events in January demonstrate that transfer to foster homes can be arranged literally overnight in times of crisis, as is the case in the broader community when child welfare agencies routinely place a child at risk into care at a moment's notice. It is therefore unclear to the Inquiry why it took such dramatic displays of despair to arrange for the placements. Some of the children who were transferred from Woomera to Adelaide during January and February had been held in Woomera for more than eight months and all had been in detention for over four months.

In any event, the South Australian child welfare authority clearly links the levels of despair and depression of children with detention in Woomera. Given that the Minister and his or her delegates have a special responsibility to ensure the best interests of the child are a primary consideration while in their care, the Inquiry regards it as inadequate that the Department did not routinely and immediately transfer unaccompanied children to home-based detention. However, the Inquiry is not satisfied that the best interests of these children were adequately considered prior to their placement in home-based detention.

For example, MSI states that:. It would be usually in the best interests of an unaccompanied ward to be transferred out of a detention facility. On 24 October , the Inquiry issued a Notice on the Department to produce information and documents regarding transfer into alternative places of detention of both unaccompanied children and children with their families. Since the response of the Department did not include any material with respect to the placement of entire families in the community, the Inquiry concluded that there were no formal arrangements.

The Inquiry addressed the question to the Department again during the hearings with the Department in December and the Deputy Secretary provided information about one discrete family. Is the Department aware, or has there been any case, where an entire family has been put in a similar sort of foster arrangement, I suppose, when the Department has received advice from a State authority to the effect that a it's in the interests of the family to be released from detention, and b it's in their interests for the family as a whole to be released?

Has there been any case where an entire family has been put into a similar sort of foster care arrangement? But I return to the point that I made before. I'm also aware of another situation where we were attempting to establish that and there were considerable difficulties identifying a place that was both able to provide - or an organisation able to accept responsibility for - the provision of care and support and willing to take responsibility for having them available for immigration processing.

Now, it's certainly been the case that over the years numbers of community organisations have come forward saying, you know, that they're prepared to provide support in these situations but it has most often been the case that when what they're actually committing to is explored, they regard it as outside their ambit of responsibility to agree to co-operate in having people available for removal and I understand their point here. They say that's not their responsibility, but if they are not prepared to take that responsibility, then it falls to the Government to find ways of meeting that obligation in the most appropriate way that it could be done.

It appears therefore that the Department viewed community detention for families as a possibility in principle, but rarely in practice. The Inquiry understands that there are many pressures on community groups which may mean that they are not willing to take on the role of 'detaining' children and their parents as required by the Migration Act, especially in the absence of additional funding.

However, the Inquiry also understands that an increasing number of individuals and groups are willing to take on such a task. In any event, during the Inquiry's visits to detention facilities, staff met several detainee families with close family in the Australian community who were apparently willing to take responsibility for them. In at least one case a child's parent was in the community. The Inquiry has not received specific evidence as to whether the reason the Department has not routinely transferred children in detention centres to the supervision of a family member living in the community - and almost never to a welfare organisation - is, as the Department suggests, because family members are unwilling to take the responsibility of ensuring availability for removal.

However, the information before the Inquiry suggests that this is not an option that was actively explored over the period of the Inquiry. The December MSI issued on Alternative Places of Detention supports this conclusion in that it considers the possibility of transferring detainee families to the custody of community groups, but not relatives. The reluctance to more actively pursue the opportunities available under the Migration Act to transfer families from closed detention facilities to alternative places of detention, is particularly troubling in the light of the frequent recommendations by the South Australian authorities that families be released from detention. For instance, in the case of Woomera in January , the South Australian authorities wrote to the Department with respect to several families stating that: It is the view of [DHS] that none of the notified children can be assessed as safe whilst they remain in the current situation and that for any adequate assessment to occur the children and their families should be removed from the Centre and thoroughly and professionally assessed.

In a Notice issued to the Department on 24 October Notice 4 , the Inquiry required information regarding all arrangements or agreements that existed between the Department and any State agencies or non-government bodies relating to the provision of and funding or payment for the transfer of children to alternative places of detention. The Department's response was that alternative detention occurred on a case-by-case basis but that:. These arrangements are reflected in a draft Agreement between the department and DHS. The Department did not notify the Inquiry of any arrangements with States other than South Australia nor provide any explanation as to why 'formal arrangements' had not been entered into in any other State.

However, documents provided by the Department to the Inquiry indicate that two of the unaccompanied children placed in alternative detention in Adelaide had been transferred from the Curtin facility in Western Australia. The Department also provided details of arrangements that have been made for one family to be 'held' by a community group in Victoria. The recent efforts by the Department to improve the conditions of detention for women and children are to be commended. These efforts demonstrate that there is scope within the Migration Act to ensure detention is more appropriate to the needs and interests of children. Indeed, that scope has been there since at least The transfer of almost 20 unaccompanied children to foster care detention in the community is a clear advance in the physical conditions of detention when compared to facilities like Woomera and Curtin.

Psychologists report an improvement in the mental health of children when they leave the closed detention environment. Children in home-based detention told the Inquiry that they were pleased to be living in Adelaide and meeting Australian children:. I am quite good now, because I go to school and I don't have much pressure like I had before. However, the Inquiry is concerned that this initiative only commenced in January , after most of the unaccompanied children who had been in detention centres between and had already been released. Many of those unaccompanied children had spent long periods in detention and would have benefited from speedy transfer into the community.

Furthermore, over the period of the Inquiry, the concept of home-based detention in the community was applied to only one whole family. One more family was transferred into community detention in September The Department appears to be of the view that residential housing projects provide a good solution to the difficulties facing families in detention and has frequently declared the success of this initiative. For instance, in foreshadowing the closure of the Woomera detention centre, the Minister stated that:. The very successful Woomera Residential Housing Project RHP will remain open and all residents will be offered the opportunity to stay in the Project or move to Baxter with their partners.

However, the evidence provided to the Inquiry does not support such a definitive conclusion about the success of the Woomera housing project. The Inquiry recognises that the housing project provides an improved physical environment and a closer approximation to family-style living than in detention centres. Children in the housing project are not exposed to riots and other disturbances taking place in the detention centre and have easier access to excursions into the community. However, closer examination reveals that the continuing restrictions on liberty have diminished the positive impact of the project on women and children.

In the words of two children who were living in the housing project:. CHILD 1: The [detention] centre has its own problems and the housing project has also its own problems. Like I think both are equal. Just here is like CHILD 2: Yeah, there also just the shape and the look is like better there and maybe we cook but still we have some problems that is equal with the [detention] centre.

The most dramatic restriction regarding the lives of participants in the housing project is the condition that fathers stay in the detention centre. This condition exacerbates the already fragile mental state of families and has not been adequately justified by the Department. While there is no compulsion on two-parent families to volunteer for the project, the Inquiry is of the view that asking families to choose between a less harsh environment for their children and separation from their father is unfair. While this condition does not impact on single mother families, they have also found it difficult to conduct 'normal' parenting in the housing project.

The doctor providing care to detainees at Woomera wrote to the Department in October setting out his concern that:. The housing project highlights one of the recurring themes of the Inquiry, namely that despite efforts by the Department to improve conditions of detention, it is the detention per se - the deprivation of liberty and autonomy - that is more often than not a primary cause of distress for children and their parents see further Chapter 9 on Mental Health.

This is not a new discovery and explains why the CRC imposes such strict limitations on the circumstances under which children may be detained - in particular that it be a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriateperiod of time as required by article 37 b of the CRC. Section 6. Sections 6. One of the reasons for this reduction lies in the fact that, since September , most children attempting to make the journey to Australia by boat have been transferred by the Australian Navy to detention facilities in Papua New Guinea or Nauru. In other words, child asylum seekers heading for Australia on boats are not usually detained in Australia but in third countries. Under international law, Australia continues to be responsible for any foreseeable breach of the human rights of the children that it forcibly relocates to third countries.

This includes the decision to detain and the length of detention of children in those countries. The Department appears to agree with this proposition with respect to asylum seekers who enter Australia's waters:. Australia's protection obligations extend to refugees who have entered Australia's jurisdiction by entering its territorial seas. The Pacific strategy in no way detracts from these obligations. The Inquiry sought assistance from the Department to facilitate visits to the detention facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. However, the Department has taken the view that while Australia has some responsibility for the rights of children detained in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, this Inquiry's jurisdiction does not extend to inspecting those facilities and interviewing those children.

The Inquiry does not accept this view. However, without the cooperation of the Department it has not been possible for the Inquiry to properly assess the conditions in those centres. Accordingly, while the Inquiry has received some submissions regarding detention in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, the Inquiry has been unable to collect any primary evidence on the conditions in the facilities and the impact that they have on child detainees. The Inquiry is not, therefore, in a position to comment in any detail on whether the conditions in those facilities meet standards required by the CRC.

Nevertheless, the Inquiry is in a position to comment on how the 'Pacific Solution' legislation impacts on Australia's obligation to ensure that these children are detained as a matter of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. Therefore, throughout this chapter, the Inquiry has briefly assessed whether detention in Nauru and Papua New Guinea pursuant to the Migration Act, might breach article 37 b of the CRC. Furthermore, in Chapter 16 on Temporary Protection Visas, the Inquiry comments on the impact of detention in 'Pacific Solution' countries on family unity.

The principle of detention as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period in article 37 b amounts to recognition by the international community that the deprivation of liberty is rarely in the best interests of the child. Indeed, many studies have considered the impact of institutionalisation on children and conclude that the social and psychological effects can be long term and serious.

In making a decision to detain children, the Commonwealth is obliged to consider the following issues, with the best interests of each child as a primary consideration:. As discussed throughout this chapter, the Commonwealth legislature has made a universal decision in relation to questions of whether or not a child should be detained. The Migration Act requires all children who arrive in Australia without a visa to be detained, no matter what their individual circumstances. This blanket approach raises immediate concerns regarding the 'best interests' principle because it prevents the best interests of each child being considered in the 'decision' to detain - indeed, it prevents any decision at all.

The Department has recognised that its first opportunity to actively consider the best interests of the child is only after the child is detained:. In the context of administering the Migration Act, when making any decisions regarding the best interests of the child, departmental officers must consider those interests in the context that the child is required by law to be detained. Regarding the length of detention, the Department states that the availability of bridging visas in the Migration Regulations properly takes into account the best interests of the child. There are two key decisions to be made in relation to the location of detention. First, whether the child should be detained in a detention centre or an alternative place of detention for example home-based detention or residential housing projects?

Second, if detention is to be in a detention centre, which one? These questions are closely related to a further decision, namely the conditions under which children should be detained. Some of the factors to take into account in these decisions include the ability of children to gain appropriate access to:. Certain detention centres also create serious risks of exposing children to physical violence see Chapter 8 on Safety. In some cases decisions concerning in which detention centre to place a child can have implications for the unity of a family, as set out below.

There is little debate that it is in the best interests of the child, in most circumstances, to live with his or her parents. The question is what impact that has on decisions made within the context of the mandatory detention system. The Australian Government and the Department have stated on several occasions that the principle of family unity in article 9 of the CRC means that it is usually in the best interests of the child to be detained because their parents must be detained:. The Government recognises it would be preferable if children and their families did not need to be detained. However where detention is required by law because they are unauthorised arrivals, or have breached visa conditions, it is the Government's considered view that it is in the best interests of child for them to remain with their parents, family or fellow country people.

First, the decision to detain children does not arise from a consideration of their best interests following the detention of their parents. Children are detained for the same reason and at the same time as their parents. They are detained on arrival because they are unlawful non-citizens. There is no consideration of children's best interests before they are detained. Second, the argument implies that there is no choice but to detain parents. This is obviously incorrect. The Commonwealth has made a decision to detain all unlawful non-citizens, including children and their parents. If the Government believes that it 'would be preferable if children and their families did not need to be detained', they may propose changes to the legislation that permit that preferred position.

They have not done so. Third, a proper consideration of the best interests of the child does not seek to trade off rights against each other when they are, in fact, compatible. The above argument suggests that the right of a child only to be detained as a last resort is to be traded for the right to family unity in the name of his or her best interests. The Inquiry rejects such an approach. Instead, the best interests of the child are met by allowing the child to remain with their parents and be at liberty. Such a result can be achieved by the Commonwealth if it chooses to provide such an option under the law. It has chosen not to do so. During the public hearings many witnesses were asked to respond to the Minister's assertion that it is usually in the best interests of children who are with their parents to remain in detention in order to keep the family unit together.

The following are some of the responses to that proposition:. No one can seriously argue that it is in the best interests of the child to detain children. The government attempts to argue that it is in their best interest because of the family unity. Now, we agree that family unity is vital and an integral right under the Convention. However, it can't be used as a justification to detain children. It must be read in totality, this Convention, not in isolated bits. The Convention really can't be used, in fact is misused, if we justify a position of one evil versus another. It is not a choice between detaining children with their family or releasing children and separating them from their family. Children and their families need to be released from detention.

DR OZDOWSKI: Could I ask you, there is a picture of this dilemma in terms of policy because the Minister is saying that he is showing the best interests of the child by keeping the whole family in detention rather than allowing separation and letting children out or letting mothers and children out. How do you see A child's development is best supported within a healthy family context where parents are free to care for their child in their culture and supported in a way in which they see fit as parents. Australian Association for Infant Mental Health Yes, well, one of the fundamental issues in relation to the best interests of the child is also not being exposed to an environment which could cause them harm.

I don't need to speak or to lecture you on the problems that we face in detention at the moment, but clearly there is a culture of where self-harm has become a norm in detention, where there have clearly been lots of other problems, problems which are caused again in our view by the system that we have. The best interests of the child, whether with a family or unaccompanied, in our view cannot be to remain in an environment as problematic as that. And indeed, our other view would be that in relation to - and I would like to provide the Commission with some further written materials on this - but if the presumption was that children ought not be, as a presumption detained, surely the principles of family unity would require that if a child is not to be detained because it is harmful, then also families of those children ought to be released with those children.

That would be our basic position. The Department states on the one hand that it is concerned to keep the family together, and on the other hand it makes separation of two-parent families a condition of transfer to a residential housing project see further section 6. It is the view of the Inquiry that the exclusion of fathers from the housing project minimises the positive impact that the creation of the Woomera housing project may have had on compliance with the 'best interests' principle.

Furthermore, evidence before the Inquiry indicates that the Department has not made a child's best interests and family unity a priority when deciding in which detention centre to detain children. The Inquiry heard several examples of children who had a parent or close family members living significant distances from the detention centre where they were located. Refugee parents in the community cannot generally access their families in detention in remote centres as the distance and cost is too great. For example, in , an unaccompanied Iraqi boy was detained at Port Hedland while his mother and siblings were living in Melbourne on refugee protection visas.

The Department considered transferring him to Maribyrnong to be closer to his family. The decision hinged on whether the child could be 'managed' at Maribyrnong, rather than the imperative of being close to his family:. Follow-up with regard to [the child] and determine whether a transfer to Maribyrnong IDC is possible so that he can be close to his family who are living in Melbourne after being released on TPVs.

This depends on whether he can be managed effectively at [Maribyrnong] and other operational considerations. Children of another family at Woomera in had not seen their father for three years since fleeing Iraq. They had telephone contact with him, but the boys were clearly bitter about 'the protracted separation from their father and the futility and irrelevance of their existence in a Detention Centre environment'.

The Department gave the following general explanation for its refusal to transfer families between detention centres for family unity reasons:. Transfers are administratively and logistically challenging and costly. In considering any move to a different place of detention, relevant factors include the available places of detention, infrastructure and support services, capacity to meet visa processing and reception requirements, and management of diverse detainee populations. Detainees may sometimes seek a transfer on the basis of having family or friends in areas close to other detention facilities such as Villawood IDC.

It is not administratively practical, cost effective or equitable to move detainees for that reason alone. Such issues, however, may sometimes be relevant in consideration of management options for detainees with particular needs that cannot be adequately addressed in another facility. In the Inquiry's view, this response illustrates that neither the best interests of the child nor the principle of family unity were primary considerations in the Department's decision process regarding the location of children.

A third example of children who have been separated from their father by being detained in Woomera, involves a family of five children aged 3, 7, 9, 10 and 12 on arrival. The children were detained with their mother in Woomera. The father had come to Australia earlier, but at the time of arrival the mother did not know his whereabouts. Within three months the children had learned that their father was alive and living in Sydney on a temporary protection visa.

However, it appears that the children's father only learned of his family's presence in Australia, by coincidence, a year after their arrival. Case Study 1 at the end of this chapter outlines the sequence of events regarding this family and the impact that detention in Woomera, far from their father, had on the children. It highlights the range of options which could have been pursued by the Department or the Minister to ensure the best interests of the child and family unity at various stages. Unaccompanied children require additional protection and assistance under article 20 of the CRC.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR states that children seeking asylum should not be detained and this 'is particularly important in the case of unaccompanied children'. The Minister, in turn, has delegated his powers to the Department's Managers and Deputy Managers in each of the detention facilities as well as to State and Territory child protection authorities.

Australia's detention laws do not make any distinction between the detention of unaccompanied children and any other child or adult. Thus all unaccompanied children arriving in Australia without a visa must be detained. Regarding the length of detention, section 6. However, as set out above in section 6. The placement of these children in home-based foster care represented a clear step froward in applying the 'best interests' principle to unaccompanied children. The Department's efforts to make the best interests of unaccompanied children a primary consideration regarding their care in detention centres is discussed in detail in Chapter 14 on Unaccompanied Children and throughout this report.

By December the Department formally acknowledged that the best interests of unaccompanied children would usually require that they not be in detention facilities. The change between September and December represents a fundamental development in the Department's approach to the best interests of unaccompanied children. Thus MSI recognised that it would be in the best interests of unaccompanied children to be released from detention quickly, but only after a refugee claim has been refused at the primary stage which can take many months.

The MSI went on to provide that, in the meantime, if the Department Manager believed that the unaccompanied child's needs 'cannot be appropriately provided for', the Manager should investigate the possibility of transferring the child to a place of detention other than an immigration detention centre. The MSI then set out the steps that the Manager needed to go through to establish that their needs could not be provided for. Three months later, in MSI , the Department replaced paragraph Thus, by December - ten years after the introduction of mandatory detention - the Department began to assume that satisfying the best interests ofunaccompanied children usually requires their release or transfer from detention facilities.

However, the Department continues to suggest that that it may be in the best interests of some unaccompanied children to remain in detention. For example, the Department has stated that it may be in a child's best interests to remain in the company of persons they have made friends with:. But clearly, as Mr Walker said, there are a range of other considerations. Best interests of the child, as we understand it, is required to be a primary consideration but not the only consideration and there were a variety of other circumstances and considerations that needed to be taken into account including, for example, the groups with which people have turned up.

People often wanted to stay together as a group even though one of that group was an unaccompanied minor. The Inquiry is not convinced that this is a good reason for an unaccompanied child to remain in detention and, to the best of the Inquiry's information, there has been no instance of a State child welfare authority recommending that a child stay in detention so that he or she can remain with his friends. The Department also suggested that the release of unaccompanied children into the Australian community may expose them to people smuggling rings in Australia:. Account must be taken of factors such as The Inquiry does not accept that this is an issue of real concern in Australia for unaccompanied minors for whom the Minister remains the guardian.

There is no evidence to suggest that these children are at serious risk of 'falling into the hands of people smugglers'. The Department states that between 3 December and 16 May , 25 unaccompanied minors were assessed against MSI Eight children were transferred to alternative places of detention, one was granted a bridging visa, nine turned 18 or were re-assessed as being over 18 , three were removed from Australia and four were assessed to be a high risk of absconding and therefore remained in detention facilities. It is important to note that while these MSIs represent a positive development in the Department's approach to unaccompanied children, they do not represent any change in thinking regarding the detention of children with families.

Many of the submissions to the Inquiry report the views of children who have spent time in detention centres. A feeling of darkness came on me in the detention centre, and all my hope disappeared. My world has been dark ever since. It was like a desert It felt like we were in a cage. We could not go anywhere with all the fences and that stuff It was like jail as there was no care The children were crying. My father is so angry and I don't know why It was a bad experience. There were no times when we were happy there We were at war in Afghanistan because of the Taliban and we thought we have come to another war here. In the detention centre, always soldiers all around us.

Oh my God, can the Taliban get us again? It was so hot, so very hot and lots of flies and we needed a fan. The whole condition in the camp is really, really bad, people are really stressed. Those people they are there for a long time they get really agitated. They used to come to [dining room] for example Three Afghan unaccompanied children who had spent some time in detention before being recognised as refugees and released into the community have the following views about detention:. I think there should not be any detention for children at least.

All these Afghans that are spending months or years in detention, they have not done anything wrong, they are not criminals and they should listen to them. But there should not be any detention for children. They should be free. I actually experienced lots of negative things in there. For the time that I was there, I remember that there were young children who were living with adults, always having nightmares and I could see and I could hear them screaming at night time and once I saw with my own eyes that someone had broken a window and with that glass cut himself.

And I have also witnessed someone who cut himself with a blade. I experienced a lot of violent people, experiencing negative things, especially when they put us with people who actually spend one year or one and a half years there. They are the people who experienced lots of negative things who have lost their mental power and they always talk about the negative things that they experience. For example, in my case, even though I spent only three months in that detention centre, I was in contact with a man who spent actually one and a half years of his time in Australia detention centre and he asked me he said 'you're a new person, you are a new arrival so you don't know what you will be going through' and then he was telling me about all the negative things that he will do and that made me even more heartbroken and even more scared and afraid and I just remember that another fellow, he had to go and visit a friend who is in mental hospital because he spent quite a long time in detention centre and he lost his mind and he ended up in hospital.

An Australian teenage girl who made friends with children in detention describes their experience as follows:. They believe that the worst thing about detention is the psychological trauma of waking up and not knowing why exactly you are there, how long you are going to be there for, and what is going to happen if you are eventually given a TPV or sent back; so that is the worst. Also, boredom, not having formal schooling so therefore spending all day thinking about what has happened to you and what can happen to you. Being called by numbers makes them dehumanised, makes them feel like animals, not like individuals, not like people - that, again, one of the worst things.

Also, being surrounded by depression - constantly depression makes them also depressed. By seeing older people give up it shows them that the only way is to give up. Child protection authorities in States that have immigration detention centres have said, on various occasions, that the detention environment has a seriously detrimental impact on children.

Businessman Alan Bond moved to Australia with his family in Medical Transfers to First Boat In Australia Case Study, Papua New Guinea Medical transfers are frequently carried out First Boat In Australia Case Study little notice, often separating ancient egypt sphinx members. All names have been changed to protect First Boat In Australia Case Study parties' privacy.

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