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Submission to the National

Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention from

Social Action Committee (SAC)

of the Conference Leaders of Religious Congregations of Victoria (CLRCV)


We, the Social Action

Committee of the CLRCV, wish to make a submission to the National Inquiry

into Children in Immigration Detention. Our message is simple. We believe

that immigration detention is profoundly bad for children.

Many of the members

of the religious orders which belong to the CLRCV have many years of experience

working with children in health, education, welfare and other fields.

We know that for children to thrive, they need to be safe, secure and

loved. We know from reports from members of our religious orders who visit

the immigration detention centres, that they are not places that promote

for children a sense of safety, security and love.

We ask the Inquiry

to recommend that children spend an absolute maximum of two weeks in secure

detention while their health and the identity of their families is checked.

We ask the Inquiry to recommend that children, in the company of at least

one parent, be released into the community where they can begin the process

of healing after the trauma they have faced on their difficult journeys

to Australia. We ask the Inquiry to recommend that children be supported

through access to appropriate education and health care by Government

agencies while they await decisions affecting their future and that of

their families.

Signed: Social

Action Committee, CLRCV

Sr Margaret Cassidy,

CSB csbmarg@axatel.net.au

Sr Catherine Kelly, CSB cathrins@cyberspace.net.au

Sr Joan Power, PBVM jpower@netspace.net.au

Br Brian Bond, CFC bpbond@spp.edmundrice.org

Br Matthew Beckman, OFM vocations@franciscans.org.au

Br Dennis Cooper, FMS dencoops@maristmelb.org.au

Sr Marie Kehoe, RSM mariek@mercy.org.au

Sr Kathleen Spokes, SGS kspokes@bigpond.com

Ms Kathryn Boyle, Columban Mission kboyle55@hotmail.com

Last

Updated 9 January 2003.