A possie in Aussie

June 22, 2009

Children suffering in secret on Christmas Island

Jack Smit, from WA Human Rights group Project Safecom, claims that Christmas Island harbours more secrets than Woomera and Baxter

Jack claims that there are ‘86 locked-up kids’ there, but that the Immigration Department

“ manipulatively leaves blank the field “children” in their overview of men, women and children in the various detention centres around the country (figure 1 of the weekly PDF File update), and it even goes further, blatantly misleading the public by stating (figure 7) that there are ZERO children in immigration detention centres.”

Amnesty International Australia says that

“Eighty six children, including 59 unaccompanied minors, are currently being held on Christmas Island. The detention arrangements in which children are kept, such as the ‘construction camp’ facility which currently holds 68 children, is inappropriate for children even for the briefest period. The ‘construction camp’ consists mostly of metal, concrete and gravel, with small claustrophobic bedrooms and no ways to communicate with the outside world. A further eighteen unaccompanied minors are currently held in community detention.

“Although the Federal Government has committed to no longer keeping children in detention centres, these alternative detention arrangements with their restrictive conditions and lack of services have similar detrimental psychological impacts on children.” Christmas Island is no place for children

Jack Smit claims that the situation is worse than it was in the days of Woomera and Baxter detention centres, because there is no public overview of conditions on Christmas Island .

“What happens on Christmas Island stays on Christmas Island, a vastly different scenario than at the time of the shocking treatment at the Woomera and Baxter detention centres where a large section of the citizenry was informed about what took place inside Australia’s refugee jails,”

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