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Commission Website: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention

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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

National Secretariat

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

community viability.

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.

The Federal

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.

Article 26

1) Everyone

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.

2) Education

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

their children.

In the light of this

universal declaration, APC asks the inquiry to establish:

Whether children

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;

Whether prolonged

detention is the antithesis of those ideals the Australian education

system and Australians aspire to.



Executive Director

April 2002



Updated 9 January 2003.