The Commission appeared at a Senate Estimates hearing of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on February 24.
President Gillian Triggs tabled a letter she sent to the Senate Committee on 10 December 2014 that set out a timeline of meetings with ministers about children in detention issues.
As President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, I welcome the news that the Minister for Immigration has agreed to release all children and their families from detention before Christmas.
Having seen first-hand the damage that detention does to children, I am very eager to find out where they will end up. Their release marks an important moment at which it is acknowledged that stopping the boats is not contingent on detaining children.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.