Commission says don't punish innocent children any more
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace yesterday welcomed the decision of the full bench of the Family court that detention of children is unlawful.
The Commission called for all children in detention to be released with their parents under the Minister for Immigration's existing powers to place people in detention into the community.
The Commission warned that the Government, by appealing to the High Court and seeking to overturn the Family Court's decision, was pursuing a morally bankrupt course.
Executive Officer Marc Purcell said: "The Family Court's decision reaffirms what most Australian's instinctively know - that it is the wrong thing to do to imprison children. It is cruel and morally indefensible to continue to lock-up kids".
"The Government is seeking to appeal the court's decision, and they are defending the indefensible, such a move is bad policy, morally flawed and perpetuating of one of the great injustices in modern Australia - the imprisonment of the young at the expense of their childhood and ongoing development", he said.
The Commission called upon the Minister to exercise his discretionary power to place children and their parents in different types of accommodation such as community care facilities, foster care homes and schools and hospitals.
Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace (Melbourne)
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Court decision could see children released (ABC TV Lateline)
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Govt fights child detention ruling (ABC)
Commission highlights Govt asylum seeker blundering (8/7/03)
Diocese of Broome
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