Letter for refugee kids

Dear Friends

There are now 19 children in Mita in 10 units at the Mita compound section called the BRP- Broadmeadows Residential Precinct. The children and their parents are living in small units under guard.
No children are allowed to go to School.
The children are asking when and why.
Children say that TV does not have children’s programs only adult.
So far I am unable to find out why.
There are 4 babies including twins in a family of 7 children.
They were separated until last week with pregnant Mum here and father and 5 children in Nauru.
Information is anecdotal as so far unable to get in to visit because 2 stage request process blocks access.
Life in the compound is very difficult for children as little to do. They are  only allowed outside the door of the unit with a parent and officer.
There is a small toddler playground outside. Some have 2 officers inside the houses and others not.
Family of 7 children and newborn twins are in one 3 bed unit with parents.
We have to pressure to get the children to school- govt is breaking the law in denying kids access to education.
School is the only normality we can enforce.
It gets the children into a normal environment for a few hours with kindly teachers instead of guards bellowing. It is absolutely necessary for the children to survive as at moment no talk of movement to Community is being offered.
Remember last time it took 8 months to get Detention kids out to school. If we don’t push now- ABF will say that it is too late in the year for the children to start. Also remember now under ABF rules we cannot take them out for excursions and Serco no longer allow any fun. We are not allowed to give them scooters as we did before, to play with and in any case now there is no place for them to move or play.
These children have suffered enough w/o living in Mita hell with officers watching every move and no activities, institutional food in polystyrene boxes and misery.
I think that the Children’s Commissioner needs to be targeted to act – Detention ombudsman also to pressure those enacting this cruel policy. They have to act on these institutional, abusive living conditions.
Families in Brisbane living in Motel rooms not allowed out of the rooms. They need support too. Some have been lucky and  released to community housing in Brisbane but not all. It is random.
These children and their parents are coming out of Nauru hell after 5 years but they are now being punished by being put into appalling conditions in Australia.
Some children are in hospitals and the families are then split with one parent at hospital and one in camp with other children and only allowed to visit when Serco and ABF decide.
The restrictive cruel detention practices in place since ABF took over 3 years back are now being practised on these vulnerable children.
Families have been randomly and secretly flown around the country. So far we know that they are in Adelaide Brisbane and Melbourne. Because Melbourne has this new so called family compound, they may get stuck In detention.
It is hard to credit the hypocrisy of a government which has just sanctimoniously apologised to the survivors of previous child abuse now sharpening their techniques on a new group of victims.
Please ring write and email those who can stop this vicious policy as you are already doing.
Pamela Curr
29 Oct 2018

RAC Brisbane is organising a rally in support of the refugee kids. Check out their facebook page.

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