Mandatory Detention of Asylum Seeker Children

I'm livid lately at the state of this country's politics, and the reason is this government's absolutely disgraceful reaction to the Human Rights Commission report into the children in detention.

Tony Abbott is a fool and an incompetent, but the vast majority of the front bench are much much worse. Not because they are idiots, but because they have proven themselves to be heartless pieces of filth.

If you haven't already, take the time to read just the findings of the report. It's a small list, but it cuts to the heart of the problems with keeping kids in detention.

"The overarching finding of the Inquiry is that the prolonged, mandatory detention of asylum seeker children causes them significant mental and physical illness and developmental delays, in breach of Australia’s international obligations.

The following is a snapshot of the findings:

  • Children in immigration detention have significantly higher rates of mental health disorders than children in the Australian community.
  • Both the former and current Ministers for Immigration agreed that holding children for prolonged periods in remote detention centres, does not deter people smugglers or asylum seekers. There appears to be no rational explanation for the prolonged detention of children.
  • The right of all children to education was denied for over a year to those held on Christmas Island.
  • The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, as the guardian of unaccompanied children, has failed in his responsibility to act in their best interests.
  • The Commonwealth’s decision to use force to transfer children on Christmas Island to a different centre breached their human rights.
  • The numerous reported incidents of assaults, sexual assaults and self-harm involving children indicate the danger of the detention environment.
  • At least 12 children born in immigration detention are stateless, and may be denied their right to nationality and protection.
  • Dozens of children with physical and mental disabilities are detained for prolonged periods.
  • Some children of parents assessed as security risks have been detained for over two years without hope of release.
  • Children detained indefinitely on Nauru are suffering from extreme levels of physical, emotional, psychological and developmental distress."

The findings damn both this government AND the previous one, and make some serious recommendations for improving the situation. That this government has chosen to attack rather than listen has removed the last rational hope that we aren't being led by heartless disgusting monsters. Abbott shooting his mouth off is the least of the problems.

Scott Morrison has failed these children, and we're told he should be thanked! They accuse a respected Human Rights lawyer of partisan bias intending to occlude any introspection, while admitting that they haven't bothered to read it! They offer her a new job just weeks before the release of the report, and they smirk about it while testifying that she wanted it. I'm angry that all I can do is write on Facebook. I'm angry that people who voted for Abbott think that he's the main problem. Or Peta Credlin, Or partisan politics.

The problem is that discourse in this country is games and intrigue instead of vision and accountability. No one is doing it right, and Australia's soul is turning black while kids suffer and their parents face bleak hopeless futures. And none of my friends are to blame. None of you wanted this either. What do you do about it that I should be doing? Where do we go from here instead of impotently raging online? I needed to get this off my chest, and I do so knowing that I'm not helping, and I'm not improving the level of discourse by blaming Liberal voters. I'm sorry if I've offended.

I want to know that other people are thinking about this too, and I want people to know the facts, not the nonsense that our politicians want people to believe.