World Vision says both sides of Australian politics have failed children as there is no justification for detaining and damaging children.
World Vision Australia chief executive, Tim Costello said Australia needs to find ‘a better way’ for dealing with children in families seeking asylum in Australia.
“For a long time the evidence has been overwhelming of the terrible cost of detention to children,” Mr Costello said.
Children’s physical welfare as well as their emotional and psychological well-being is being put at risk with potentially life-long consequences,” Mr Costello said. “It’s very clear we need to find a better way.”
Mr Costello urged all sides of politics to give bipartisan support to finding a lasting solution: “We should be doing everything we can to make sure that this never happens again.”
While the Government agrees that detention is no place for children and had already moved to significantly reduce the number of children being held in detention, longer term safeguards needed to be put in place, he said.
“Not only do all children still being held in detention need to be released but we need to go further and put in place legislation and policies that will ensure that children and their families will never again be subject to such arbitrary and inhumane detention,” Mr Costello said.
As an international humanitarian agency that works with refugees around the world, World Vision has strongly advocated that no one under 18 years of age should be held in immigration detention.
“Whether on or offshore, no child should be deprived of their rights to a safe and healthy environment simply because their family is seeking asylum,” Mr Costello said.
Last year World Vision welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to release into the community 1500 children being held in detention on Australia’s mainland, but called for all children to be released.
At the end of last year there were still 135 children being held on Nauru and 333 being held in detention at Bladin Point near Darwin.
Source: World Vision Australia
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.