Australia's Treatment of Migrant Children

This week, parliament will give the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report on children in immigration detention. From the public hearings held last year, it is clear that Australia’s system of mandatory immigration detention is damaging and especially abusive when it comes to children. When the commission reviewed the situation of children in immigration in 2004, it found Australia’s immigration detention was in violation of international law and failed children in nearly every aspect. More than a decade later, Australia’s policies remain basically unchanged. Some of the problems are that these children are locked up for long periods of time, sometimes sharing facilities with unrelated adults. Education is not properly given, primary health care is insufficient, and mental health services are not enough, among other problems. How can these children be helped? Australia needs to help these children. Yes, they are migrants, but they deserve their rights as well.

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