#937 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Aug 2014.
Members of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, a coalition of leaders from nine Christian denominations, released a report on Wednesday claiming that the Abbott Government is guilty of “state-sanctioned child abuse” in its treatment of children in immigration detention.
The Churches Refugee Taskforce also called for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to step down from his position as legal guardian for all unaccompanied minors arriving in Australia.
Taskforce Chair, the Reverend Peter Catt, said children were “held like animals” in inhumane conditions, and denied basic rights. The report said there was clear evidence that children in detention faced “terrible physical and mental suffering.”
The report’s recommendations include ending closed detention for all unaccompanied children; providing institutional child welfare and protection; and replacing the Immigration Minister as the guardian of about 135 unaccompanied asylum seeker children held in onshore and offshore detention centres.
There are an estimated 4330 children in Australian immigration detention.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.