francesca da rimini on Tue, 11 Jun 2002 00:38:52 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Children Placed in Punishment Compound


A couple of points of clarification for this
discussion, using info from the recently published
"National Inquiry into Children in Immigration
Detention" prepared by the Australian Federal
Government's Dept of Immigration & Multicultural
Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA)

> My question is not a moral one, rather a practical
> one.  The  Australian Government (Or whoever is
ultimately overseeing this) is obviously doing an
awful job.  

Australia now has a policy of Mandatory Detention of
"unlawful non-citizens"

This policy is administered by DIMIA for
"administrative [not correctional] purposes as part of
the approach to "the integrity of Australia's entry

The management of the 8 major detention centres has
been outsourced to Australian Correctional Management
Pty Ltd (ACM), a subsidiary of the security giant
Group 4 Falck.

> But simply saying "the dreaded Oscar(sp?) Compound"
> is too easily 
> dismissed.  What exactly happens there that is
> detrimental? 

(not from the DIMIA report but from the Sydney Morning
Herald) ..Following inspections around the country of
the detention centres last week the head of the UN
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Louis Joinet...
"privately told welfare groups he had not seen a more
gross abuse of human rights in more than 40
inspections of mandatory detention facilities around
the world. "

There is a wealth of documented complaints and
eyewitness accounts which support Mr Joinet's
judgement, some of which will be used by South
Australian lawyers later this year when they will
challenge the constitutional lawfullness of placing
people in mandatory detention.

> But back to Woomera, these refugees aren't faced
> with the same situation we are.  And have very
different needs.  I assume there are very limited
resources (money, can Australia support a large influx
 of population who will need jobs, housing, etc)

The policy of Mandatory Detention is currently
directed at the existing (as of 12 april 02) 1,618
people currently in detention, and to any others who
arrive on our shores (status of the 1000s of recently
excised islands to the north a bit unclear right now).

Most of these people have arrived on australian
territory by boat.

The majority have come from Iran (343), Afghanistan
(288) and Iraq (133)

256 of the 1,618 have been in detention for over 18
months. 28 of those 256 are minors.

The policy is clearly not directed at 60,000 (sixty
thousand) people who as of june 30 2001 were
unlawfully in australia having outstayed their visas.

Obviously Australia's resources are very elastic.

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