Amnesty praise for Catholic Women action

Amnesty International Australia has responded warmly to an initiative of the Commission for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) following the observation by male guards of female detainees using shower and toilet facilities at South Australia's Baxter Detention facility.

CACW Chair Geraldine Hawkes wrote to every member of Federal Parliament expressing concern about the discriminatory treatment of women in Baxter.

"The Commission considers supervision by men of women at toilet and showering unacceptable and discriminatory," she said.

Quoting United Nations High Commission for Refugees Guidelines in support of the CACW stand, Amnesty Campaign Coordinator Brett Solomon assured Mrs Hawkes that his organisation will endeavour to raise the issue in the appropriate fora.

"I can convey that Amnesty International Australia does share your concerns regarding the issue and supports the sentiments contained in Geraldine Hawke's letter."

Mrs Hawke objected in the letter to the parliamentarians to Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone's rejection of a request from Fr Paul Bourke of Whyalla fpr a guarantee that women, when using the toilet and when showering, will not be supervised by male officers in the Management Support Unit.

A Word from the Commission (Catholic Women's Weekly 27/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
A Word from the Commission (Catholic Women's Weekly 14-20/6/05)

Women's Commission speaks out against detention indignity (CathNews 10/6/05)

28 Jun 2005