Submission to National Inquiry
into Children in Immigration Detention from
the Australian Parents Council
The National Federation
of Organisations Representing Parents of Non-government School Students
PO Box 1894
North Sydney NSW 2059
Telephone: (02) 9955 7091
Fax (02) 9923 2723
The Australian Parents
Council (APC) is the national voice of parents of children attending non-government
schools throughout Australia.
The APC commends
the inquiry into children in immigration detention. We confine our brief
comment to the basic human right of all children to education.
The APC believes
that children in whatever circumstances, including those in immigration
detention, are entitled to immediate access to appropriate and supportive
education in Australia, fully funded by governments and with additional
cultural supports appropriate for those children.
The APC believes
that education, commencing from the earliest days of a child's life, is
the key to the creation of just societies and the key to economic and
Article 26 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which underpins the work
of the APC, sets out the imperative for education and its nature.
Government is a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration
of Human Rights.
In their principles
and policies, school authorities in Australia express commitment to
the ideals in Article 26 of that Declaration and Australia has the resources
to attain the ideal.
has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the
elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.
Technical and professional education shall be made generally available
and higher education shall be equally accessible on the basis of merit.
shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and
to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It shall promote
understanding tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or
religious groups and shall further the activities of the United Nations
for the maintenance of peace.
3) Parents have
a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to
In the light of this
universal declaration, APC asks the inquiry to establish:
in detention have immediate access to Australian education;
Whether such access
is well enough funded and tailored to the needs of these children, their
parents and their culture and background;
detention is the antithesis of those ideals the Australian education
system and Australians aspire to.
Updated 9 January 2003.