PUBLIC FORUM: 20 years too long: why mandatory detention must end

Dear supporters of refugee rights,
You may be aware that the 20th anniversary of the introduction of mandatory detention passed about a week ago. The Refugee Action Collective is marking this doleful occasion with a public meeting on Saturday 19th May. The details are below. You are invited to attend. If it is convenient please help us publicise the event by letting all of your members and contacts know about it. There is a flier attached you can print out. Let us all help to rid the nation of this scourge of mandatory detention, by informing people what it is and what is wrong with it.
Best wishes,
Paul McKinnon
Refugee Action Collective (Qld)
Ph: 3392 3843

PUBLIC FORUM: 20 years too long: why mandatory detention must end.

When: 2pm, Saturday 19th May.
Where: Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary St, West End.
Getting there: Street parking. 199 bus from city.
This year marks 20 years since the introduction of mandatory detention. Before 1992 refugees who arrived by boat lived in the community while their claim for asylum was assessed. This forum looks at mandatory detention: how it was introduced, how governments use it, and its social and economic costs. All welcome.
Speakers include: Adele Rice, well-known Brisbane refugee rights advocate.
Dr Jane Hasler, sociologist and mental health professional.
A former detainee.
Further info: Paul, 3392 3843, paul .

mandatory detention 4.pdf

3 thoughts on “PUBLIC FORUM: 20 years too long: why mandatory detention must end

  1. Pamela Curr says:

    READ BELOW- dodgy practices to determine age in UK. Australia has an even dodgier practice carried out by the “AGE DETERMINATORS’ from the AGE DETERMINATION TEAM. They arrive at detention camps and interview teenagers for hours on end and then decree that they are over 18 years. There are a couple of these kids at the MITA.
    this “scientific” method is carried out by hapless DIAC bureaucrats under orders from their political masters.
    Ask yourself how ethical and accurate is it to ask kids who have never been to school, who are neither numerate or literate in their own languages -how old are you?
    the other practice is to maintani that the kids are the age of the documents on which they arrived. DIAC knoww full well that under age kids cannot leave Pakistan, Iraq or Iran which is why their parents, uncles, relatives and friends put their ages up in order to get them out when they are under threat.
    Camp staff are left to deal with these kids struggling in adult environments.

    Age assessment by x-ray: “imprecise, unethical and potentially unlawful”

    New Scientist:
    Attempts to assess age with X-ray scans of teeth or wrists are doomed
    to failure, according to work to be published this week in the British
    Medical Bulletin. The fundamental flaw with such tests is that, because
    children grow at widely different rates, skeletal maturity shown on
    X-rays – which is used to gauge age – doesn’t necessarily match
    chronological age. [10]Read more

    British Medical Bulletin:
    There is evidence that radiography (X-rays) of bones and teeth, which
    is increasingly relied upon by immigration authorities, is imprecise,
    unethical and potentially unlawful, and should not be used for age
    assessment. [11]Read more (subscription required for full download)

    Pamela Curr
    Campaign Coordinator
    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
    12 Batman st West Melbourne 3003
    ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075


  2. Pamela Curr says:

    How would Australians cope with the absolute lack of privacy and autonomy to which people in detention are condemned by orders from Canberra.

    A veil of secrecy over detention centres and a lack of willingness by media to challenge this, has resulted in ignorance about the conditions.
    No asylum seeker in detention is allowed access to his/her mail until it has been opened and read by DIAC staff.
    Letters arriving in another language are sent to a department where interpreters read the mail for DIAC before it can be handed over.
    People tell us that sometimes they are told up to 10 days in advance that a letter has arrived for them but they have to wait until it has been read and released.

    Life in detention is observed by cameras. People’s names are checked off at every meal. If they do not eat they are asked why. If they miss a few meals they are placed on a watch list and interviewed about their ” non compliant behaviour”. Their names can be sent to Canberra and this will be enough for the Minister to refuse a Bridging Visa or Community detention.
    Guards are required to enter the rooms and check people around midnight and again before dawn. Sympathetic guards “dont shine the torch in our faces ” – but others do. Families are included in this checking system. It is a cause of distress for children having strangers enter their rooms in the night. SERCO dictate to staff that these are now called “welfare checks”.

    Every morning in detention camps and centres there is a meeting at which lists are updated about people who are non-compliant i.e. suicidal, psychotic , depressed
    or who are on VS (voluntary starvation)i.e. hunger strike. The Non compliant are put on PSP- Psychological Support Program – renamed from SASH (Suicide and Self Harm) or suicide watch. The suicide word is banned now. Lists are sent to Canberra of the “offenders”.

    Advocates re continually fighting for the right to take food into the centres- this is allowed and disallowed on some wierd sort of rotation. When the privilege is won in one place it will be removed in another. A nun renowned for taking her home cooking of biscuits , cakes and other treats to those in need of cheer and who “has not poisoned anyone in 50 years” was blocked until wiser heads prevailed but now we learn that Families in another camp are being denied their own special foods prepared by family and community members.
    The bottom line is that Canberra dictates and controls every aspect of the lives of the vulnerable people in our detention camps and centres ( see below ).
    Is it any wonder that these places are in the words of eminent psychiatrist Professor Pat Mc Gorry – “factories for producing mental illness”.

    pamela curr

  3. Anna Crozier says:

    You may like to read the story of Kurai A refugee from Zimbabwe, waiting residency in Australia. – transition and releasing from the cage of the mind.

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