immigration detention centres, call for independent review of system

Tuesday, 5 December 2000 NSWCCL media release: 1/2000


Cameron Murphy, President of the NSWCCL said today, 

“It is not only costly, dangerous, and cruel, but a clear violation of a persons rights to hold them in detention when they have done nothing other than seek asylum in Australia.” 

“We need a comprehensive independent inquiry into migration detention in Australia. The Minister should immediately commence an independent review with a view to alternatives to detention.” 

“The Immigration Minister, and his government, are clearly responsible for a situation where, due to administrative inadequacy, it takes so long to process applications that people are held in detention. The vast majority of detainees will eventually be granted refugee status and there is no logical reason for holding people in detention in these circumstances.” 

“Where aspects of detention and prison services have been privatised, or contracted out, there is a commercial financial interest in keeping people locked up and preventing public scrutiny of the process. This invariably leads to problems such as the current situation in immigration detention.” 

“What is clear is that these refugee applicants are being held in defacto imprisonment while their claims are being processed. It is a violation of human rights to hold someone in detention when they have committed no crime and I condemn that process.” 

“In the Australian criminal justice system children are only held in custody in the most extreme of cases. In the immigration system it seems that we hold children in custody as a matter of course and its wrong.” 

“It is not a practice of the prison system to hold children in custody along with adults and there is no reason why this should have occurred or should continue in the immigration system.” 

President, CAMERON MURPHY 0411 769 769