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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

and afterwards;

provides access to appropriate educational services;

enables the child to grow in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding;

thereby safeguarding

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

be specified.

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

in Australia.

On behalf of the


R F Short


Updated 10 October 2002.