Skip to main content

Commission Website: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention

Click here to return to the Submission Index

Submission to the National

Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention from

People with Disabilities

(NSW) Inc


February 2002

For further information

contact:

Damian Griffis

Senior Policy Officer - Systemic Advocacy

People with Disabilities (NSW) Inc

PO Box 666

STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 2012

Telephone: (02) 9319 6622

Facsimile: (02) 9318 1372

Email: damiang@pwd.org.au


Contents

1.

About People with Disabilities (NSW) Inc.

2.

Executive Summary

3.

Conclusions and Recommendations

4.

Terms of Reference

5.

Introduction and General Observations

6.

Immigration Detention Standards

6.1

Facilities

6.2 Accessibility

6.3 Privacy & Dignity

6.4 Recreation

6.5 Education

6.6 Safety & Security

6.7 Staff Training

6.8 Solitary confinement/Punishment/Use of Force

6.9 Medical/Care Needs

6.10 Access to Complaint Mechanisms

6.11 Staff Mentality

7.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

8.

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

8.1 Article 12

8.2.1 Article 16 (Point 1)

8.2.2 Article 16 (Point 2)

8.3 Article 22

8.4 Article 31

8.5 Article 32

8.6 Article 34

9.

Declaration on the Rights of the Disabled

9.1 Article 6

9.2 Article 8

9.3 Article 11

10.

Disability Discrimination Act

11.

Commonwealth Disability Strategy

12.

References


1.

About People with Disabilities (NSW) Inc.

Our Identity

People with Disabilities

(NSW) Inc (PWD) is a state peak disability rights and advocacy organisation.

Its primary membership is made up of people with disability and organisations

primarily constituted by people with disability. PWD also has a large

associate membership of other individuals and organisations committed

to the disability rights movement. PWD was founded in 1981, the International

Year of Disabled Persons, to provide people with disability with a voice

of our own. PWD has a cross-disability focus - we represent the interests

of people with all kinds of disability. PWD is a non-profit, non-government

organisation.

Our vision

Our vision is of

a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human

rights, citizenship, contribution and potential of people with disability

are respected and celebrated. This vision underpins everything that we

do.

Our mission

Our mission is to

be the leading NSW disability peak organisation of and for all people

with disability advocating in highly effective ways for the realisation

of our vision of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community.

Our Core Values

We believe that people

with disability, irrespective of the nature, origin, and degree of our

disability:

  • Are entitled

    to a decent standard of living, an adequate income, and to lead active

    and satisfying lives.

  • Are people first,

    with human, legal, social and consumer rights that must be recognised

    and respected?

  • Are entitled

    to the full enjoyment of our citizenship rights and responsibilities.

  • Are entitled to

    social support and adjustments as a right, and not as the result of

    pity, charity, or the exercise of social control.

  • Contribute substantially

    to the intellectual, cultural, economic and social diversity and wellbeing

    of our community.

  • Possess many skills

    and abilities, and have enormous potential for life-long growth and

    development.

  • Are entitled

    to live in, and be a part of, the diversity of the community.

  • Have the rights

    to define the policies and programs that affect our lives.

  • Ought to be empowered

    to exercise our rights and responsibilities, without fear of retribution.

Our Principles

In realising our

vision, mission and core values, we are guided by the following principles:

  • We are passionate,

    innovative and fearless in the promotion and defence of the rights and

    interests of people with disability.

  • We are accessible

    and responsive to our community, and inclusive of its diversity.

  • We encourage,

    empower and support the civic participation of people with disability.

  • We are collaborative

    and supportive in our relationships within the disability rights movement

    as a whole.

  • We are accountable

    for our activities to our members, to people with disability generally,

    and to the public.

  • We always act

    with honesty and integrity.

  • We are resourceful

    and efficient in the marshalling and management of the resources needed

    to undertake our work.

Our Activities

PWD provides or undertakes

the following activities:

  • Rights related

    information, advice and referral services for people with disability

    and their associates.

  • Short-term individual

    and group advocacy assistance to people with disability and their associates.

  • Advocacy for

    reform around systemic issues that adversely affect people with disability

    and their associates.

  • Representation

    of the sector of interest constituted by people with disability and

    their associates to government, industry, and the non-government sector.

  • Coordination of

    the sector of interest constituted by people with disability and their

    associates.

  • Disability rights

    related research and development around issues of concern to people

    with disability and their associates.

  • Disability rights

    related training and education for people with disability and their

    associates, service providers, government and the public.

2.

Executive Summary

PWD as the peak disability

advocacy organisation in New South Wales has lodged this submission to

highlight the concerns this organisation has as to the treatment of children

with disability in immigration detention centres. Throughout the researching

for this submission PWD has noted the increasingly political overtone

to much discussion about immigration detention centres. PWD hopes to highlight

through this submission the need to remove the political and often emotional

arguments and instead focus on the situation with children with disability

as individuals.

This submission will

highlight a number of international human rights treaties and conventions

that the Commonwealth is a signatory. These include the Convention on

the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Status of Refugees and

the Declaration on the Rights of the Disabled. Furthermore this submission

will address Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation and the Commonwealth

Disability Strategy.

Furthermore, this

submission has closely analysed the implementation of the Department of

Immigration and Multicultural Affairs' (DIMA) own Immigration Detention

Standards (IDS). As a general observation the IDS pay scant regard to

the needs of people with disability and PWD believes our detailed analysis

of the standards highlights this fact.

PWD has observed

during the formulation of this submission that one of the fundamental

problems likely to face this inquiry is the lack of concrete evidence

relating to the mistreatment of children with disability. This is due

to several factors including confidentiality agreements signed by staff

working at immigration detention centres (IDC's). Indeed PWD has spoken

with former staff of IDC's, whom have raised a number of very serious

concerns and incidences that suggest that a 'correctional' mentality is

prominent, which is naturally to the detriment in some cases of vulnerable

children with disability. The contacts that PWD has made in this regard

have not been able to disclose their personal details because of the confidentiality

agreements and because they fear reprisals for providing such information

publicly. PWD is gravely concerned about this restrictive policy of the

Department of Immigration and Multicultural affairs (DIMA) in its administration

of IDC's. This, we are concerned will be a serious inhibitor to the inquiry

as it has been in the formulation of this submission.

PWD supports the

Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commissions (HREOC), comments in

relation to the functioning of IDC's and we also strongly support HREOC's

assertion that there needs to be amendments to the Disability Discrimination

Act (1992) to remove the 'Migration' exemption in Section 52.

PWD offers this submission

to emphasise the importance of international conventions as a fundamental

compliance mechanism in the ongoing struggle for human rights for people

with disability. The Commonwealth government has not only an obligation

but also a central role to play in the equalisation of opportunity for

people with disability in our society. The labelling of persons as 'illegals'

or 'aliens' not only creates an environment of difference between peoples

in Australia but also impacts on the well being of all children in immigration

detention environments who are often powerless to self advocate. It is

essential that the same rules of compliance that we expect and some times

demand from other nations around the world be upheld by our Commonwealth

government of the day. Without this accountability the rights of children

with disability cannot be assured. This we believe presents another example

of the need for Australia to have a bill of rights.

3.

Conclusions and Recommendations

As a result of the

analysis undertaken by PWD in the composition of this submission the following

recommendations have been drawn.

The Department of

Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) needs to undertake an overhaul

of its Immigration Detention Standards (IDS). The new Standards need to

include several new directives including:

The assurance that facilities be adapted to enable people with disability,

accessibility. (Recommendation 1.0)

  • That the dignity

    of people with disability be assured by treating individuals with respect.

    (1.1)

  • That recreational

    facilities be accessible to children with disability and that children

    with disability are free to pursue recreational activities of their

    choosing. (1.2)

  • That education

    be provided to children with disability in accessible formats. (1.3)

  • That the safety

    and security of children with disability be assured especially in an

    environment of high tension and violence. And that children with disability

    be free from abuse and exploitation. (1.4)

  • That all staff

    working within the IDS environment be trained in understanding the needs

    of children with disability across all disability types. Furthermore

    that staff be trained in understanding the needs of children with mental

    illness and that the environment in which they are detained may infact

    manifest behaviours as opposed to treating children as 'troublemakers'.

    (1.5)

  • That all forms

    of punishment including solitary confinement, the use of force, the

    use of chemical and/or physical restrains for example be forbidden against

    children. (1.6)

  • That the medical

    and care needs of all children in detention be monitored on an ongoing

    basis and that an ongoing assessment as to the state of mental health

    of all children in detention is undertaken. (1.7)

  • That all children

    in detention have access to external complaint mechanisms. To ensure

    such accessibility the allocation of advocates is essential. (1.8)

  • That an independent

    audit of resources be undertaken to assess how many social work and

    mental health staff are needed in each IDC to enable more effective

    individual management of detainee needs. (1.9)

PWD concludes that

the DIMA in it's administration of IDC's is in violation of the Convention

on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Status of Refugees and

the Declaration on the Rights of the Disabled.

PWD affirms that

Commonwealth compliance to international conventions will go some way

to improving the circumstance for people in IDC's. The current legal structure

does not support compliance with international conventions. As it currently

stands international conventions are only scheduled to the Human Rights

and Equal Opportunity Commission Act (1986) and are not enforceable

in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. This is a fundamental problem in relation

to human rights in Australia. Currently the Commonwealth is unable to

be held accountable in relation to the administration on IDC's. Indeed

accountability is self administered by the DIMA. The same DIMA whom requires

of its staff working in IDC's to sign confidentiality agreements. (Recommendation

2.0)

PWD strongly recommends

the following amendments to Commonwealth legislation:

  • That international

    conventions scheduled to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

    Act (1986) (the HREOCA) be enforceable by enabling complainants

    to seek conciliation or if unsuccessful remedy in the Federal Court

    as is afforded to other Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation.

    (Recommendation 3.1)

  • That the Disability

    Discrimination Act (1992) (the DDA) Section 52 exemption on 'Migration'

    be removed from the legislation. (3.2)

  • That Australia

    creates a bill of rights that utilises the principles of various international

    conventions and ensures genuine access to all persons within Australia,

    including 'non-citizens' access to the courts. (3.3)

In conclusion, PWD

has observed the very serious violations of international conventions

by the Commonwealth, and a basic reluctance to allow assessment of its

operations. It is in this environment that children with disability are

being detained in IDC's. PWD as a peak disability advocacy organisation

has observed the very serious lack of access to IDC for advocates and

other professionals which seriously undermines the welfare of children

with disability whose ability to access complaint mechanisms is seriously

diminished.

4.

National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention

Terms of Reference

This submission will

focus upon the following Terms of Reference from the perspective of children

with disability in immigration detention. Please note the highlighted

part of the terms of reference are relevant to the content of this submission.

1. The provisions

made by Australia to implement its international human rights obligations

regarding child asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors.

3. The adequacy and

effectiveness of the policies, agreements, laws, rules and practices governing

children in immigration detention or child asylum seekers and refugees

residing in the community after a period of detention, with particular

reference to:

  • The conditions

    under which children are detained;

  • Health, including

    mental health, development and disability;

  • Education;
  • Culture;
  • Guardianship issues;

    and

  • Security practices

    in detention

4. The impact of

detention on the well being and healthy development of children, including

their long-term development.

5. The additional

measure and safeguards which may be required in detention facilities to

protect the human rights and best interests of all detained children.

5.

Comments and General Observations

For the purposes

of this submission, a child is 'every human being below the age of eighteen

years' as specified in Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the

Rights of the Child.[1]

For the purposes

of this submission a child with a disability is defined as any human being

under the age of eighteen years who has

(a) total or

partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions; or

(b) total or partial loss of a part of the body; or

(c) the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness;

or

(d) the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease

or illness; or

(e) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the

person's body; or

(f) a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently

from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or

(g) a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought processes,

perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed

behaviour;

and includes a disability that:

(h) presently exists; or

(i) previously existed but no longer exists; or

(j) may exist in the future; or

(k) is imputed to a person.

As defined in the

Disability Discrimination Act (1992) (the DDA).

During the formulation

of this submission PWD has made a number of observations that we believe

are important in understanding the nature of the problem facing detainees

in immigration detention centres in Australia. Observations that are also

important in relation to immigration in general. Whilst our submission

relates specifically to the situation for children with disability in

immigration detention, we also hold a general concern for the welfare

of all detainees currently in immigration detention centres throughout

Australia.

PWD has observed

the difficulty in finding solid evidence in relation to the treatment

of children with disability in immigration detention. One of the fundamental

problems we faced in writing this submission is the difficulty in accessing

information, even at the most basic statistical level. This only adds

to our concern for the welfare of not only child detainees with disability

but also all detainees currently in immigration detention centres. This

lack of transparency suggests to PWD that there is a significant amount

of covert activity being undertaken within the confines of immigration

detention centres and also a serious lack of accountability present within

the system.

Much of the evidence

relating to mistreatment or issues surrounding the provisions of facilities

for children with disability is anecdotal. Where PWD in its research for

this submission has obtained first hand evidence of conditions in IDC's,

we have not been able to identify the informant because of the informants

confidentiality agreements and the informants fear of reprisals. PWD is

both morally and ethically obligated to protect the identity of such individuals.

Furthermore there

is limited scope for an advocacy organisation like ours to be able to

physically visit immigration detention centres, particularly in remote

parts of the country. This is a further fundamental problem that inhibits

the ability of advocacy organisations like ours to provide even the most

basic advocacy supports.

PWD has also observed

the desperately inadequate access detainees have to appropriate complaint

mechanisms, particularly in relation to the enforcement of complaints

investigated under the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

Act (1986).

PWD comments, with

growing alarm the politicisation of an issue that fundamentally involves

the lives of thousands of our fellow human beings. The use of terms such

as 'illegals' and 'aliens' and 'queue jumpers' PWD believes has enabled

the major parties to conduct a campaign of misinformation.

PWD further comments

that it has detected racial overtones to a number of public comments made

by prominent public figures. Whilst it is difficult to assert that these

comments are explicitly linked to race, some prominent people have presented

the public with a debate on immigration that is severely biased in his

presentation of the facts.

During the writing

of this submission it has become evident that the media plays a central

role in information dissemination for the public. As the primary source

of information we at PWD believe the media has a moral and ethical responsibility

to report issues pertaining to immigration detention. It is with interest

that we observe the plethora of surveys being conducted by media outlets

asking the public their opinions of immigration detention. This we believe

is a unique position for the media because they appear to be reacting

to public opinion as opposed to providing the appropriate level of reportage

on the predicament for detainees in detention. This is a serious double

standard for a media that is so often keen to formulate public opinion,

yet in this instance it appears to be impotent in its reportage and suddenly

devoid of opinion. Of course this cannot be applied to all media outlets

and forums however it appears to be evident particularly among the 'popular'

commercial media.

Furthermore PWD is

concerned about the very limited and highly secretive nature of access

to immigration detention centres. It is clear that only through greater

access to advocates, greater access to legal representation and greater

access to the media and a more transparent administration of immigration

detention centres can the plight of detainees be properly understood.

Finally we at PWD

believe, if there is to be a 'debate' on immigration in this country then

we must ensure that asylum seekers and immigration detainees have their

side of the story presented. And that we have a 'debate' that includes

an informed public as opposed to a directive from the major parties that

defines the 'debate' and only includes participants of a like mind.

6. Immigration

Detention Standards

The Department of

Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) has a set of standards that

relate to the 'quality of care and quality of life in immigration detention

facilities.[2] The Department states that 'these standards

must be met in all circumstances except where it is demonstrated that

the security and good order of the detention facility would otherwise

be compromised. [3]

The application of

the Immigration Detention Standards (IDS) cannot be categorically ascertained

due to several factors. Firstly the high level of secrecy surrounding

IDC's. Secondly because of confidentiality agreements signed by IDC staff.

Thirdly the inability of a peak disability organisation like PWD to access

IDC's. The level of secrecy and serious lack of discernible information

seriously compromises not only the lives of all detainees within IDC's

but brings into question very seriously the modus operandi of IDC's. It

is in this highly restrictive environment that PWD offers its analysis

of the DIMA Immigration Detention Standards.

6.1

Facilities

PWD is seriously

concerned about the provision of facilities for children with disability

in immigration detention. Some children with disability may require other

facilities than that provided to children who do not have a disability.

In some instances these facilities will need to be specific to their type

of disability. PWD is concerned that Immigration Detention Centres (IDC's)

apply a uniform approach to the building of facilities and that the needs

of detainees with disability are simply not considered.

As the photographs

taken by staff from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

show the facilities at Woomera Immigration Detention Centre do not consider

the needs of children with disability. This is particularly evident when

considering the needs of children who require the use of a wheelchair

for example. [4]

6.2

Accessibility

As the photographs

posted on the HREOC website taken at Woomera Immigration Detention Centre

show accessibility to the buildings would be impossible for children with

mobility difficulties. [5] The buildings are demountable

with stairs leading to a door, which would make it impossible for a child

in a wheelchair for example to negotiate independently. Furthermore PWD

notes that in some detention centres particularly those in remote areas

that the ground surface is very dusty and uneven. This would also contribute

significantly to the lack of accessibility to children with disability.

6.3

Privacy and Dignity

PWD observes that

DIMA's own immigration detention standards do not take provision for the

needs of children who may require support with personal care because of

the nature of their disability. PWD observes that there is no provision

for ensuring that children in such situations be supported by staff who

are trained in providing such support to children with disability.

PWD observes that

the detention environment by definition deprives individuals of their

dignity. PWD asserts that children with disability are acutely aware of

their lack of dignity in such an environment. This is manifested by the

lack of facilities catering for their needs and the inaccessibility of

some buildings. PWD observes that the combination of persons from many

different cultural backgrounds may also contribute because of different

cultural understandings of disability. PWD is gravely concerned for the

general well being of children with disability; children who are already

devalued by society at large, and that are subjected to an environment

that denies them the opportunity to grow and develop as individuals.

6.4

Recreation

PWD is concerned

about the accessibility of recreational activities for children with disability.

PWD asserts that all children with disability be able to access recreational

activities of their choice. Furthermore, PWD is concerned about the nature

of recreational activities. PWD is concerned that much of the talk around

detainee access to recreation has centred on sporting activities. For

example it is often remarked by DIMA officials that detainees have access

to sporting facilities such as basketball rings and soccer balls etc.

This however may not be appropriate for some children with disability.

An essential part

of recreation is choice. PWD observes that the ability of children with

disability to choose recreational activities is seriously diminished.

Children with disability must be able to access other recreational activities

such as arts and crafts for example.

Recreational,

cultural activity and stimulation is particularly important for children

in the detention setting.[6]

Furthermore PWD is

concerned about the relationships between children with disability and

other children in detention. PWD is concerned that the social dynamics

that may be present in a detention environment, whereupon children with

disability may not be accepted into their peer groups. PWD is unclear

as to how these dynamics are identified by DIMA staff and what work is

undertaken to foster relations between children with disability and those

children in detention who do not have a disability.

6.5

Education

PWD as a peak disability

advocacy organisation is acutely aware that access to education does not

apply universally to all children in mainstream Australian society, let

alone in a detention environment. Children with disability may require

specialist support from teachers and teaching aids that will enable them

to learn. PWD is gravely concerned that such supports are not being provided

to children with disability. Furthermore, PWD is concerned as to the tokenistic

nature of education, with children spending as little as 8 hours per week

studying.

HREOC officers also

observed that despite ACM's efforts to provide schooling opportunities

for the children, this is confined to those aged twelve and under, and

it is not comparable in any way to the education received by Australian

twelve year olds. There are a number of children over 12 years of age

that virtually receive no schooling at all. All children are taught in

the one classroom. Education is provided for a total of only two hours

a day, four days a week.7

6.6

Safety and Security

PWD is concerned

about the safety of vulnerable children with disability. PWD asserts that

DIMA need to show how they create an environment for children with disabilities

where they feel secure; when the environment is extremely tense. PWD has

observed the continuing escalation of violence in IDC's throughout Australia

which obviously impacts on feelings of security substantially.

PWD is concerned

that children with disability are especially vulnerable to acts of violence

and sexual exploitation. PWD is concerned that IDC's create a self-perpetuating

environment of violence where the ability of all children and especially

children with disability to defend and protect themselves is seriously

diminished.

Furthermore, PWD

finds it inconceivable that a child with a disability could feel safe

and secure with the use of water cannon to quell protests and the spectre

of deportation an everyday reality. PWD is also concerned about the levels

of exposure to violence; children with disability are experiencing, which

may in some circumstances simply be a continuation of a violent environment

that the child has sought to flee from.

6.7

Staff Training

PWD asserts that

DIMA needs to show what training is provided to IDC staff that enables

them to recognise and deal with the symptoms of depression and psychiatric

disorders. Furthermore DIMA needs to show who provides such training,

ie. is the training provided by an accredited training organisation that

specialises in the recognition of depression and psychiatric disorders

in individuals who have experienced displacement and serious trauma?

It is essential

that all officers dealing with detainees have some training in recognising

possible mental illness and responding appropriately. There is a need

for procedures to be in place for obtaining medical or psychiatric assessment

when necessary, including after hours. [8]

PWD asserts that

DIMA show how they 'deal' with a child who has depression and psychiatric

disorder and how staff minimise the potential for detainees to self-harm.

PWD is concerned that this may involve the physical and/or chemical restraint

of a child. PWD is particularly concerned about this issue in view of

the recent events at Woomera IDC that has seen the non-renewal of contracts

of two long term psychologists as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald

on January 23 2002. [9]

PWD asserts that

DIMA as part of their 'minimum set of competencies' [10]

required of all staff ensure that staff be aware of the needs of detainees

with disability. Including the needs of detainees with sensory disability,

physical disability, intellectual disability, and the needs of people

with a mental illness and those people who have contracted an infectious

disease.

PWD asserts that

DIMA include as part of the 'required knowledge base' [11]

of all staff, an awareness that they are working in an environment where

people will often be distressed and likely to be suffering from some form

of mental illness. Furthermore PWD asserts that DIMA staff should appreciate

the anxiety and stress detainees may experience and how this can manifest

itself in behaviours that may be indicative of the desperation of detainees.

6.8

Solitary Confinement/Punishment/Use of Force

PWD asserts that

DIMA show what is meant by 'taking action' [12] to manage

behaviour and what are the implications for children with disability.

If the detention centre goes into 'shut down' during an extended period

of unrest, are children with disability still able to access the supports

they need.

PWD asserts that

DIMA should show what constitutes 'prolonged solitary confinement'. [13]

PWD would like DIMA to show the inquiry whether children with disability

are placed in solitary confinement. PWD asserts that it is possible that

a child who may have a mental illness may exhibit behaviours that according

to detention standards may cause them to be solitary confined.

PWD would like DIMA

to show what alternatives there are to solitary confinement. Furthermore,

PWD would like DIMA to show how it recognises in children the manifestation

of mental illness when it may be that behaviours are more a result of

a mental illness, where a punishment consequence is an inappropriate way

of supporting and/or rehabilitating a child.

PWD would like DIMA

to show if the use of 'reasonable force' [14] applies

to children with disability. Also DIMA needs to show exactly what weaponry

has been approved by DIMA and whether any of this weaponry is used on

children.

Departmental and

APS staff have been aware of allegations that APS officers have assaulted

child detainees and have not conducted any inquiries into these allegations.[15]

PWD's experience

with other institutional settings has taught us that often people with

mental illness are the first to be physically and chemically restrained,

with the restraint being used as a control mechanism as opposed to an

effective form of treatment.

6.9

Medical/Care Needs

PWD asserts that

DIMA needs to show whether they have bathing and showering facilities

that are accessible to people with disabilities and that detainees with

disabilities have the same level of privacy afforded to other detainees.

PWD asserts that

the care needs of children with disability need to be determined by qualified

medical personnel who have experience dealing with children who may have

experienced trauma. Furthermore, medical personnel need to be qualified

in assessing the care needs of children with disability across all disability

types.

PWD is seriously

concerned about the processes used to determine the nature of a child's

disability. If for example a naval ship intercepts a child and transfers

the child to a Pacific Island or Christmas Island holding camp, at what

point are the care needs of the child assessed?

PWD is seriously

concerned about how an intellectual disability is determined for example,

in a child from a Non-English speaking background. If the child is assessed

using the 'IQ' method of determining intellectual ability is this test

undertaken in the child's native tongue in the presence of an interpreter,

with the support of parents, or with someone who can advocate on the child's

behalf? PWD is seriously concerned as to whether such an assessment is

even undertaken.

PWD is also seriously

concerned about the assessment of children as to whether they have mental

illness, given that most child detainees will have undertaken a traumatic

and hazardous journey. PWD notes that not all mental illness will manifest

immediately, particularly with incidences of post traumatic stress disorder.

PWD asserts that the assessment of care needs must be ongoing, this also

applies to children who may have contracted an infectious disease or are

suffering from a degenerative condition. PWD observes that it is virtually

impossible to offer individual support in some IDC's where there are as

many as 700 detainees and only two physologists.[16]

PWD is concerned

that children with disability, particularly those children who have a

mental illness that are referred to specialist institutions or to community

hospitals away from family. PWD asserts that their family members must

be able to visit children who are removed from detention centres and placed

in other institutional settings.

PWD concludes that

the regular monitoring of the care needs of children with disability is

not being met, particularly in relation to the mental health needs of

children in detention.

6.10

Access to Complaint Mechanisms

PWD asserts that

the opportunity to comment or complain about conditions of detention to

DIMA on any matter should be accessible to children with disability. Where

a child with disability has a disability that restricts them from complaining

in a written form for example that they be provided with an alternative

means of lodging a complaint. This may involve the support of an advocate

in writing the complaint or availing the child of the opportunity to present

a complaint orally, in a taped recording for example. Also, PWD asserts

that the material advising of the right to complain to the Ombudsman is

available in an accessible format for people with disability.

6.11

Staff Mentality

During the course

of the research for this submission PWD has been in contact with a former

staff person. [words deleted] This former staff member cannot be identified

because of a confidentiality agreement [word deleted] entered into with

the former employer. Also the informant is very wary of potential reprisals

for speaking out.

The former employee

sighted several examples of treatment that indicated very strongly the

prominence of a 'correctional' mentality. The former employee noted that

staff are rotated on a '6 week basis' with some staff rotated from prisons

and other correctional facilities. This strongly suggest to PWD that some

IDC staff would have very limited experience working with people from

a Non-English Speaking Background, those that have suffered torture and/or

trauma and children in general.

The former employee

also sighted other examples that suggested a serious conflict between

staff from a correctional background and those staff who come from a background

in social work. PWD believes that these conflicts are seriously undermining

the welfare of all detainees and is having a seriously detrimental effect

on children with disability. Unfortunately PWD does not have the resources

to investigate such workplace dynamics further, but we at PWD believe

that this is a very serious issue that warrants further investigation.

Whilst APS officers

receive some training to promote understanding of the stress experienced

by asylum seekers who are detained, the reliance on 'fly-in' staff who

do not receive adequate training has contributed to an atmosphere of punitive

control at the Port Hedland immigraiotn detention centre. [17]

7.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Australia as a signatory

to the Convention on the Rights of the Child has a number of obligations

that are relevant to the Commonwealth government's administration of immigration

detention centres. During the research for this submission and according

to the observations of the HREOC PWD is in agreeance with HREOC that the

Commonwealth government of Australia is in violation of the Convention.

Article 3 of the

Convention discusses the fact that public and private authorities must

act in the best interests of the child. Clearly detention is not in the

best interests of the child. Children with disability require an environment

that is free from stress and anxiety and is conducive to learning and

development. Furthermore children in immigration detention are facing

conditions that will invariably result in the detrition of their mental

health, it is hard to imagine any child in detention will end their experience

of detention in a improved state, having been subjected to a detention

environment that under any circumstance could be conceivably considered

to be in the best interests of a child with a disability.

Furthermore, PWD

believes that the DIMA as administrator of IDC's is violating this Article

in relation to children with disability by providing an environment that

is clearly unsafe; as indicated by the prominence of violence perpetrated

by detainees and DIMA authorities. DIMA also violates this Article by

ignoring the health needs, particularly the mental health needs of child

detainees. This is evidenced by the serious under resourcing of mental

health practitioners. Furthermore, DIMA is in violation of this Article

by neglecting the need for staff to be appropriately trained in the needs

of disabled children.

The DIMA obligations

under the Convention include the provision of an environment that ensures

the survival and development of the child in detention. PWD believes that

the survival and development of a child with a disability cannot be assured

in an environment that is highly strained with the manifestation of a

mental illness in a child a distinct possibility. Furthermore PWD believes

that the development of a child with a disability is sabotaged by the

provision of facilities that are not completely accessible. This includes

physical accessibility to facilities, but also the accessibility of education

for example to children with disability.

As outlined in Article

19 that relates to freedom from violence and exploitation, PWD believes

that the needs of children with disabilities in relation to personal safety

are not being met by DIMA. The media has reported several cases of child

sexual abuse within the detention environment; this raises serious concerns

about the vulnerability of children with disability. PWD asserts that

children with disability should be educated in understanding what is appropriate

sexual practice.

Article 23 discusses

dignity. PWD believes that IDC's completely strip individuals of their

dignity, this is particularly pronounced for children with disability.

In many instances detainees have fled oppression with little or no possessions

and undertaken an extremely hazardous passage to Australia only to be

detained for seeking asylum, in an environment that effectively treats

them as criminals. For children with disabilities who are devalued by

society because of their disability their lack of dignity is felt acutely,

with detention only adding weight to their own sense of being devalued.

Furthermore as outlined

in Article 23, PWD believes that the DIMA does not recognise the rights

of disabled children to access special care. This is especially prevalent

when considering the mental health needs of children, as evidenced by

the reduction of psychologists at the Woomera Detention Centre and the

lack of specialist mental health practitioners who have experience working

with children who have and are suffering trauma. DIMA is also failing

to recognise the rights of children with disability, by providing inadequate

supports to children with physical and sensory disabilities. DIMA must

provide greater accessibility to children with disabilities in all facets

of the detention environment ie. education and recreational programs.

DIMA must also provide direct support to children with disabilities when

it is shown that the parents of that child can no longer provide effectively.

Article 24 discusses

health. PWD believes that DIMA does not ensure that children with disabilities

in detention enjoy the highest attainable standard of health and access

to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation. PWD believes

that this particularly relates to children with mental illness and their

access to appropriate supports and treatment. PWD believes that rehabilitation

and mentally ill children is negligible in an environment that is so highly

charged. IDC's are detrimental to the rehabilitation of children with

a mental illness. Furthermore, PWD is concerned about the ongoing accessibility

for children with disability to treatments and rehabilitation for children

with degenerative conditions and those children who have contracted and

infectious disease.

PWD asserts that

IDC's are a devoid of spirituality due to the prominence of violence and

tension. PWD asserts that to assure some sort of spirituality all children

with disability must be free to worship and access a venue for their worship,

whatever denomination. The facilities themselves must reflect the true

nature of their religion.

PWD believes that

the DIMA violates Article 37 (b) of the Convention by detaining children

with disability for a period of time that is not the shortest appropriate

period of time. The processing of visa applications takes an inordinate

amount of time, far beyond international conventions, far slower that

processing other Western nations. Indeed it is suggestible that this is

a deliberate policy of the DIMA designed to create precedents that will

discourage further asylum seekers from attempting to enter Australia.

PWD believes that

children with disabilities who are detained in IDC's are deprived of their

liberty, because they are heavily restricted in their movements, because

they are confined to a detention environment, because their ability to

make choices is seriously diminished, because they are effectively stateless

and because it is extremely difficult for a child with a disability to

access even the most basic human rights such as legal representation,

this results in the lose of human dignity for all children with disabilities

in detention.

8.

Convention relating to the Status of Refugees

PWD has identified

the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees as a

Convention that Australia is in violation of. PWD notes with concern that

some refugees that are being detained in Pacific Island states that are

not signatories to the Convention.

Nauru is not a

signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and has not

expertise in processing applications for asylum. Other Pacific countries

cited as possible locations for detention camps, such as Palau (16,000

people) and Kiribati (70,000 people), have also not signed the Convention.

While Papua New

Guinea has signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, it has placed

on it significant reservations, and does not accept Convention obligations

covering: Wage-earning employment (Article 17); Housing (Article 21);

Public education (Article 22); Freedom of Information (Article 26);

Refugees unlawfully in the country of refuge (Article 31); Explusion

(Article 32); and Naturalisation (Article 34).[18]

PWD has identified

the following articles of the Convention as being in contention;

8.1 Article 12

- Personal status

1. The personal status

of a refugee shall be governed by the law of the country of his [19]

domicile or, if he has no domicile, by the law of the country of his residence.

PWD believes that

the personal status of a refugee in Australia according to this Convention

would mean that they are eligible for coverage under Federal anti-discrimination

legislation, specifically the Disability Discrimination Act (1992).

This is because the status of a refugee is governed by the law of his

domicile or by the law of the country of his residence. However it would

also apply that a refugee is subject to the Migration Act (1958)

for example, which specifies that an individual can be denied entry into

Australia because they have a disability. However we at PWD contend that

the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) is also applicable for

an individual who has sought asylum and has arrived in Australia but has

not been denied access because of their disability because they have avoided

expulsion by seeking asylum directly to Australia as opposed to be denied

access by seeking residence by the standard procedure. PWD contends that

the grounds for discrimination covered under the Commonwealth Disability

Discrimination Act (1992) apply to all detainees within IDC's who

have a disability.

8.2.1 Article

16 - Access to courts

1. A refugee shall

have free access to the courts of law on the territory of all Contracting

States.

PWD believes that

access to the courts to be available to children with disability who are

in detention. It should be that access to the courts considers the needs

of children with disability who are from a Non-English Speaking background.

PWD submits that access to the courts of law in Australia can only be

assured by providing child detainees with disability information about

their rights that is in a format that enables them to understand their

rights.

PWD believes that

access to immigration review mechanisms be able free of charge. PWD notes

with concern the requirement of appellants to pay a large fee to the Migration

Review Tribunal for the hearing of their appeal; this is in violation

of this article that requires free access to courts of law, which we at

PWD take to mean all possible review mechanisms.

8.2.2 Article

16

2. A refugee shall

enjoy in the Contracting State in which he has his habitual residence

the same treatment as a national in matters pertaining to access to the

courts, including legal assistance and exemption from cautio judicatum

solvi.

PWD believes that

all children with disability in detention should have access to specialised

legal assistance. This would involve the acquisition of legal assistance

that specialises in law relating to children, criminal law and anti-discrimination

law, and specifically disability discrimination law. PWD asserts that

this access to legal assistance be provided free of charge as if provided

to any member of the public who is seeking legal assistance in a matter

where they are not in a position where they can pay for such service.

8.3 Article 22

- Public education

1. The Contracting

States shall accord to refugees the same treatment as is accorded to nationals

with respect to elementary education.

PWD notes that for

the DIMA to comply with this article of the Convention, the Department

would need to insure that all children within the detention environment

can access elementary education, in the same way that is afforded citizens

of Australia. Therefore it is a requirement of DIMA to provide elementary

education to children with disability in detention. This will involve

the DIMA providing specialist support to children with disability.

8.4 Article 31

- Refugees unlawfully in the country of refuge

1. The Contracting

States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or

presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their

life or freedom was threatened in the sense of article 1, enter or are

present in their territory without authorisation, provided they present

themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their

illegal entry or presence.

PWD observes that

the DIMA is in violation of this Convention particularly in relation to

detainees from Afghanistan and other nations that are currently involved

in conflict. PWD notes that children with disability who are seeking asylum

in Australia from oppressive regimes are in fact coming directly from

a territory where their life or freedom was threatened and that they are

in a particularly vulnerable position. PWD believes that DIMA should acknowledge

that children with disabilities are especially vulnerable and that the

likelihood of their life or freedom being threatened is often heightened

because of their level of vulnerability. PWD also believes that the DIMA

acknowledge that in some instances the very reason that families seek

asylum is in the hope that not only will they be able to flee oppression

but also to enable their child or children with a disability a better

opportunity to live a fulfilling life.

8.5 Article 32

- Expulsion

1. The Contracting

States shall not expel a refugee lawfully in their territory save on grounds

of national security or public order.

PWD detects that

few expulsions of refugees relate to grounds of national security or public

order; this is particularly evident in relation to children with disability.

PWD notes that many expulsions of refugees relate to the status of an

individual and whether they are indeed a refugee. PWD notes that in some

instances children with disabilities and their families are not being

considered as refugees, yet we at PWD are at a loss as to how these people

can otherwise be categorised. PWD is gravely concerned as to the grounds

of national security and public order are defined with particular concern

relating to the prominence of Afghan refugees being expelled. PWD believes

that Afghan refugees are being expelled because of their nationality as

opposed to any evidence pertaining to national security or public order.

This prejudicial treatment is having an seriously adverse effect on Afghan

children with disability who are seeking to flee their own countries lack

of national security and public order only to be told upon arrival in

Australia that they themselves are a risk to Australia's national security

and public order.

8.6 Article 34

- Naturalisation

The Contracting States

shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalisation

of refugees. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite naturalisation

proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of

such proceedings.PWD believes that for the DIMA to comply with this Article

of the Convention the Department will need to seriously overhaul its procedures.

There is significant evidence that outlines the extraordinary amounts

of time detainees are waiting to have even the most basic assessments

as to their status. For children with disability and their families this

is and will continue to have an ongoing seriously destabilising effect.

The DIMA needs to acknowledge that the excessive amounts of time that

detainees are awaiting for the processing of their applications is contributing

very significantly to the tense and stressful environments that detainees

find themselves in. PWD wants the acknowledgment of the DIMA that these

time frames for processing has an especially detrimental and stressful

effect on the lives of children with disabilities.

9.

Declaration on the Rights of the Disabled

PWD would like the

DIMA to acknowledge the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the

Disabled as a minimum standard in their administration on IDC's. PWD has

specifically identified a number of concerns that are best alleviated

by the enforcement of the Declaration.

9.1

6. Disabled persons

have the right to medical, psychological and functional treatment, including

prosthetic and orthetic appliances, to medical and social rehabilitation,

education, vocational training and rehabilitation, aid, counselling, placement

services and other services which will enable them to develop their capabilities

and skills to the maximum and will hasten the processes of their social

integration or reintegration.

PWD observes that

under this Declaration DIMA has an obligation to ensure that children

with physical disabilities have access to prosthetic and orthetic appliances.

This includes not only access for wheelchairs for example but facilities

that ensure that buildings are more accessible. For example grab rails

to assist access.

DIMA also has an

obligation to provide children with disabilities with appropriate resources

to enable them to rehabilitate. We at PWD believe this is a moot point,

particularly in relation to children with a mental illness. PWD feels

that the possibilities of a child with a mental illness rehabilitating

or having their situation improve even minutely are a virtual impossibility

in such an environment. For effective support and care a child with a

mental illness cannot reside in IDC and receive treatment and authorities

cannot possibly expect a child's condition to improve.

9.2

8. Disabled persons

are entitled to have their special needs taken into consideration at all

stages of economic and social planning.

PWD has outlined

throughout this submission a number of areas where the DIMA is deficient

in its administration of IDC's and detainees with a disability. It is

evident that the DIMA does not consider the needs of people with disability.

It is an integral part of any organisations planning that it be inclusive

and supports the needs of all groups within our community. It is clearly

a case of the needs of children with disability is simply not considered

in this environment as evidenced by the details within this submission.

9.3

11. Disabled persons

shall be able to avail themselves of qualified legal aid when such aid

proves indispensable for the protection of their persons and property.

If judicial proceedings are instituted against them, the legal procedure

applied shall take their physical and mental condition fully into account.

PWD contends that

DIMA is not providing the appropriate legal advice to children with disability

who are in detention. Under any number of United Nations Conventions and

Declarations the right to access legal advice is paramount, it is clear

that DIMA is neglecting it's obligations at even the most basic level.

PWD is seeking the acknowledgment of DIMA that children with disability

have very specific needs that require the specialist advocacy of experts

in legal matters for children and disability discrimination.

10.

Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

PWD supports HREOC's

position that amendments should be made to the DDA in the area of Migration.

Currently any acts done in relation to the administration of the Migration

Act (1958) are not subject to the DDA. PWD asserts that this seriously

undermines the human rights of children with disability in immigration

detention centres.

The alternative available

to detainees with disability relates to lodging a complaint under the

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act (1986) (the HREOCA)

which has a number of UN Conventions scheduled to the Act, such as those

identified in this submission. However, this piece of legislation does

not enable enforceability with the most that a complainant can expect

is that their complaint be tabled in parliament. This also seriously undermines

the human rights of child detainees with disability, by restricting their

complaint to a political environment. Children with disability who have

been treated in a discriminatory way whilst in immigration detention and

therefore subject to the Migration Act (1958), cannot seek redress

in Australian courts. The only redress available to a child with disability

who has been treated discriminatorily is to have their complaint tabled

in Parliament. PWD asserts that this therefore places the plight of children

with disability in a political forum. Children with disability in immigration

detention centres are in the unique situation of being beyond the scope

of Commonwealth law, which is a discriminatory treatment in itself. PWD

wholeheartedly supports HREOC's recommendation that an amendment to the

DDA be made that removes the provision of Section 52 of the DDA that enables

the application of the Migration Act (1958) override the DDA.

PWD believes that

the DIMA is discriminating against people with disability in its application

of the Migration Act (1958), whereupon people with disability can

be refused migration to Australia. PWD believes that the reasons for such

provisions is essentially undertaken on a 'cost benefit' analysis. The

defence used by DIMA is that the cost to the Commonwealth is supporting

a person with a disability may be too much for the Commonwealth to bare.

PWD believes that this is fundamentally discriminatory in that it treats

people with disability less favourably and is an inflexible and prejudicial

assessment.

Significantly the

Migration Act (1958) exemption under the DDA makes it impossible

for associates of children with disability to lodge a complaint under

the DDA. This further restricts the ability of children with disability

to lodge complaints because it may be that their 'associate' may be the

most likely to lodge a complaint.

PWD notes with concern

that the DIMA has not lodged an action plan under the DDA with HREOC.

The lodgement of action plans under the DDA are not compulsory, but they

are an important way for the public to know those government agencies

and those organisations that are serious about disability discrimination.

PWD views the fact that DIMA has not lodged an action plan with HREOC

(as of February 1 2002) as a disappointment and a further indication of

the detriment that occurs as result of the Section 52 of the DDA exemption.

PWD believes that amending the DDA to remove the Section 52 exemption

would perhaps improve the likelihood of the DIMA lodging an action plan

under the DDA.

PWD notes that an

amendment to the DDA removing Section 52, would enable people with disability

in immigration detention to potentially lodge complaints in a number of

different areas. PWD believes that this at least make the DIMA accountable.

PWD is concerned that without the amendment the situation for people with

disability in immigration detention will remain a political one.

Finally PWD believes

that Section 31 of the DDA that states

31 Disability

Standards

(1) The Minister

may formulate standards, to be known as disability standards, in relation

to:

(d) the provision of public transportation services and facilities by:

(i) the Commonwealth; and

(e) the administration of Commonwealth laws and programs in respect

of persons with a disability.

PWD believes that

an important way of ensuring the human rights of children with disability

in immigration detention would be by the development of Disability Standards

under the DDA. These standards need to relate to the provision of the

facilities in immigration detention centres and furthermore in the administration

of Commonwealth laws and programs and their application for people with

disability. For this to occur PWD notes that an amendment of the DDA is

required as observed by HREOC.

11. Commonwealth

Disability Strategy

The Commonwealth

Disability Strategy (CDS) is a Federal government initiative that is meant

to ensure the equalisation of opportunity and access to the Commonwealth

Sector for people with disability. It is an initiative that has the potential

to have a positive impact on the lives of people with disability with

regard access to a number of Commonwealth departments. However PWD believes

it is clearly evident that this positive approach does not apply to the

DIMA in their administration of immigration detention centres on Australia.

For DIMA they are

able to invoke the provisions of the Migration Act (1958) which

appear to override any obligations under the CDS. It is of great concern

that a Commonwealth Department that has one of the most direct involvements

with people with disability would choose to disregard their own Commonwealth's

government's initiatives. Unfortunately the Commonwealth's own correspondence

regarding CDS does not specify this discrimination between Australians

and those in immigration detention and we at PWD would suggest that this

distinction be made for the benefit of persons who may not have citizenship.

Furthermore the CDS would be well advised to note that accessibility does

not apply to people with disability in immigration detention. Our submission

has highlighted a number of areas where it is clear that notions of accessibility

and opportunity so widely espoused in the CDS are not applicable to persons

with disability who are in detention. DIMA may be able to present an argument

that they have met their obligations under the CDS, this may well be the

case in relation to the operations of their offices for example or accessible

websites, or in their employment initiatives for people with disabilities,

however we at PWD are convinced that CDS principles simply do not apply

to immigration detention centres.

12.

References

Commonwealth Ombudsman,

Investigations of complaints concerning the transfer of Immigration

detainees to State prisons; Report of the Commonwealth Ombudsman,

December 1995.

Department of Immigration

and Multicultural Affairs, Immigration Detention Standards, http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

Human Rights and

Equal Opportunity Commission, Media Statement by President Alice Tay

AM and Dr Sev Ozdowski, Human Rights Commissioner OAM, 6 February 2002,

entitled Woomera Immigration Detention Centre, Report of Visit by HREOC

officers.

Human Rights and

Equal Opportunity Commission, Those who've come across the Seas,

HREOC, Sydney 1998.

Oxfam Community Aid

Abroad, Adrift in the Pacific; the implications of Australia's Pacific

Refugee Solution, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, February 2002.

Sydney Morning Herald,

January 23 2002, Ruddock adviser quits in disgust.


1

Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states 'For

the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being

below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the

child, majority is attained.'

2

Department of Immigration - Immigration Detention Standards, http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

3 Department

of Immigration - Immigration Detention Standards, http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

4 Photos

available on the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission website

at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/media_releases/2002/06_02.html

5 Photos

available on the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission website

at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/media_releases/2002/06_02.html

6 Those

who've come across the Seas; Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

inquiry into conditions of detention. Quote take from page 186 of the

report. Report available online at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/pdf/human_rights/asylum_seekers/h5_2_2.pdf

7

Quote taken from HREOC website as part of media statement dated 6 February

2002; Media Statement by President Professor Alice Tay AM and Dr Sev Ozdowski,

Human Rights Commissioner OAM, Woomera Immigration Detention Centre, Report

of visit by HREOC officers.

8 Quote

taken from page 72 of the Investigations of complaints concerning the

transfer of Immigration detainees to State prisons; Report of the Commonwealth

Ombudsman, December 1995.

9 Information

obtained from Sydney Morning Herald article on front page entitled Ruddock

adviser quits in disgust, published on Wednesday January 23 2002

10 Immigration

Detention Standard 6.1.1 published by DIMA; website address http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

11

Immigration Detention Standard 6.1.2 published by DIMA; website address

http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

12 Immigration

Detention Standard 7.2.3 published by DIMA; website address http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

13 Immigration

Detention Standard 7.8.3 published by DIMA; website address

http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

14

Immigration Detention Standard 7.9.1 published by DIMA; website address

http://www.immi.gov.au/illegals/det_standards.htm

15 Quote

taken from HREOC report entitled Those who've come across the seas, quote

on page 123. Report can be obtained at website address http://www.humanrights.gov.au/pdf/human_rights/asylum_seekers/h5_2_2.pdf

16 Information

obtained from Sydney Morning Herald article on front page entitled Ruddock

adviser quits in disgust, published on Wednesday January 23 2002

17

Quote taken from HREOC report entitled Those who've come across the seas,

quote on page 122. Report can be obtained at website address http://www.humanrights.gov.au/pdf/human_rights/asylum_seekers/h5_2_2.pdf

18

Quote taken from page 6 of Adrift in the Pacific; the implications of

Australia's Pacific Refugee Solution, published by Oxfam Community Aid

Abroad, February 2002.

19

The use of the word 'his' or 'he' is an exact duplication of the wording

of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. PWD acknowledges

that this language appears as gender specific and that this may cause

offence, however for the purposes of this submission exact duplication

of the wording of articles in the Convention has been retained and PWD

obviously acknowledges that in this instance the use of the words 'his'

or 'he' relate to all persons regardless of gender.

Last

Updated 9 January 2003.