Friday, July 25, 2014

Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce Rejected by Government.

http://www.australianchurchesrefugeetaskforce.com.au/
Protecting the Lonely Children: Recommendations to the Australian Government and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child with respect to unaccompanied children who seek asylum and refuge in Australia.
The report  “paints a harrowing picture of neglect and abuse, one that we could not imagine allowing our own children to be placed in” and notes “that children who come to us seeking asylum are to be regarded as a significant threat requiring detention and deportation represents the utter moral failure of leadership in our country.”
Building on our earlier report All the Lonely Children which posed 15 questions for the incoming government, this further edition analyses the response from both the Government and Opposition and makes a series of practical recommendations for a more compassionate approach towards children seeking our protection.

A spokeswoman for the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the allegations from the taskforce, which includes members from Anglican, Catholic, Salvation Army, Uniting Church, and other denominations, were 'shocking and offensive.'
'And the Minister rejects these categorically,' she said in a statement.
'The government takes the protection of children very seriously and is committed to ensuring they are protected from exploitation and abuse.'
A spokeswoman for Mr Morrison said abuse allegations were an insult not just to the government but to all in the system who cared for asylum-seeker children.
An overwhelming majority of unaccompanied minors live in the community and receive adequate care and access to education. The minister took his guardianship responsibilities seriously. “Claims of state-sanctioned child abuse are shocking and offensive, and the minister rejects these categorically,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
“The number of children in held detention has declined by over 35 per cent under this government, from more than 1300 at the time of the election down to 849.”
Mr Morrison’s spokeswoman criticised the lack of consultation on the report, saying it was unfair the minister had not been given an opportunity to view it ahead of its release.
However, it’s understood it was presented to the immigration department on July 10 with the full set of recommendations.


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