A bill that would release the 112 children in immigration detention in Australia will soon go before the House of Representatives. The bill passed the Senate last week, but it could be rejected by a government-majority House.
While it’s widely accepted that detention is bad for child asylum seekers, the long-term effects of that harm are rarely spelled out. Our recently published research sheds some light on this.
Co-Director of the Australian Intervention Support Hub (AISH), Australian National University
in The Conversation – November 30, 2015
“I know that since 1976, there have been 70,000 asylum seekers settled in Australia who arrived by boat. Not one of them has been found to have a link to terrorism.” – Tasneem Chopra, cross cultural consultant, speaking on Q&A, November 23, 2015.
Refugee Council of Australia Report – October 2015
RCOA has also heard of circumstances where the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection has failed in his obligation to grant stateless children born in Australia citizenship, as required to under 21(8) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007. While the Act requires the Minister to confer citizenship, the current Minister and his predecessor have failed to respond to the applications and this also breaches the Minister’s responsibilities regarding making a decision under the Act.
RCOA believes these delays are unreasonable, discriminatory and unfair, and calls on the Minister for Immigration to resolve this issue for the hundreds of people affected by these delays.
Julian Burnside, AO QC, the acclaimed “Australian National Living Treasurer” winner of the Sydney Peace Prize, and highly regarded long-term advocate for asylum seekers and refugees has agreed to become our honourary Patron … Thank you Julian, and welcome aboard … officially.
Message from Julian Burnside:
Rural Australians for Refugees have been calling for a fair go for refugees ever since the infamous Tampa event, when the Pacific Solution was created and 438 asylum seekers rescued by the Norwegian cargo ship Tampa were forcibly diverted to Nauru.
Since then, these local groups have persisted in their work; visiting refugees, raising money for their food, clothing and shelter and holding public meetings that draw attention to more compassionate policy options.
To my observation, RAR has been the most impressive and dedicated group supporting refugees. What they have done is little short of inspirational.
RAR has my greatest admiration and my full support.
THE SENATE HAS JUST PASSED GREENS AMENDMENTS THAT SAY NO CHILD WILL BE LOCKED UP IN DETENTION CENTRES ON AUSTRALIAN SOIL. THIS IS A MASSIVE STEP FORWARD
As well as the new law to remove children from detention (with their parents), the Senate legislated to have the centres opened up to media scrutiny, to enforce the mandatory reporting of abuse and to reverse the punitive Border Force whistle-blower crackdown which covered doctors and nurses in detention.
Now, the legislation will return to the House of Representatives and it will be up to Malcolm Turnbull whether he reverses the will of the Senate and the people so that he can keep children locked up in detention.
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said: “PM Turnbull either has to vote now to re-detain children, to lock journalists out of detention centre and to gag staff, or he sees the sense… I can’t imagine Malcolm Turnbull feeling very comfortable about voting in the house to re-detain kids.”
The proposed National Settlement Services Outcomes Standards are the culmination of the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) extensive work around fostering dialogue on national standards within the settlement sector for a number of years. This dialogue has included a national consultation process to inform the development of a discussion paper that was tabled at SCOA’s National Conference in 2012. A further series of national consultations were undertaken in 2014 to explore the principles, content and prospective structure of proposed national settlement service outcomes standards.
In addition to the extensive consultation process, the National Settlement Services Outcomes Standards have been informed by best practice approaches being delivered in the work of settlement services across Australia and an international literature review. The National Settlement Services Outcomes Standards have been developed in partnership with Government and represent an approach designed to work across all programs, agencies and levels of Government. They are also a useful tool for discussion with mainstream and other services about the outcomes that settlement support aims to achieve.