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Commission Website: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention

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Submission to the National

Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention from

the Victorian Bar Council

Dear Dr. Ozdowski,

National Inquiry

into Children in Immigration Detention

The Victorian Bar

Council has been provided with the submission to the HREOC Enquiry into

the mandatory detention of children that has been prepared by a group

headed by Julian Burnside QC and called the Kids

in Detention Story.

The Bar Council views

with concern the facts and matters described in that submission.

The Bar Council condemns

the extended mandatory detention of children in circumstances such as

those described in that submission as involving:

(a) a breach by

Australia of its international obligations under a number of treaties

including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant

on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and

(b) a breach of

its human rights obligations on simple humanitarian grounds regardless

of and separate from its international obligations under (a) above;


(c) an unjustifiable

interference with what should be a paramount consideration, that is,

the best interests of the child; and

(d) crippling permanent

damage to children who are vulnerable and traumatised prior to their

arrival in Australia;

A copy of this letter

has been forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Commonwealth Attorney General,

the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, the Premier of Victoria,

the leader of the National Party and leaders of non government political

parties in the Commonwealth Parliament, i.e. ALP, Greens and Democrats.


Updated 9 January 2003.