Submission to the National
Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention from
Social Justice Committee of
the Parish Council of the Anglican Parish of West Tamar
This submission is
made by the Social Justice Committee of the Parish Council of the Anglican
Parish of West Tamar, Tasmania, on behalf of the members of the Parish.
1 The mandatory
holding of an unaccompanied child in a detention centre is not acceptable
as it is not in the best interests of the child.
It should be replaced
by a system whereby the unaccompanied child is cared for in a monitored
situation in the community which:
has the best interests
of the child as the primary consideration;
recognises the child's traditional cultural and religious values;
assists the child to learn the English language, while maintaining the
child's first language;
raises the child's awareness of Australia, its history and culture and
educational and other opportunities;
appraises the child of the support services available during detention
provides access to appropriate educational services;
enables the child to grow in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding;
the human rights and best interests and promoting the mental and physical
health of the child, in accordance with the principles of the Convention
on the Rights of the Child.
It is suggested that
this could be best achieved through monitored foster care by mature people,
ideally originally from the same country as the child, who can provide
the appropriate environment and care for the child and who have been in
Australia long enough to be familiar
with what is needed and the services available.
2 The processing
of people in detention centres should be faster - a maximum time should
We appreciate that
this will require greater resource input, however we stress that future
citizens of Australia are involved; they should be dealt with in a humane
way, with understanding and assistance in making the transition to settlement
On behalf of the
R F Short
Updated 10 October 2002.