The report of the Australian Human Rights Commission's (AHRC) most recent national inquiry into the impact of immigration detention on children, The Forgotten Children, was publicly released in February this year and immediately dismissed by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, as 'a political stitch-up'. The PM claimed that the timing of the inquiry was evidence of its politically partisan nature. The inquiry was launched six months after his government took power, when the number of children in detention had fallen from the record high reached under Labor in July 2013. AHRC President, Professor Gillian Triggs, claimed that because a federal election was imminent, she decided to wait on its outcome and possible changes to Australia's asylum seeker policies before launching an inquiry. The Coalition government took power in October 2013. The number of children in detention then decreased significantly, but Triggs claimed that over the next six months 'children were being held for significant periods and were not being released. While the [asylum seeker] boats were stopping, the children were being detained for lengthening periods of time. When the inquiry was announced ... children had been held on average for seven months and 1,006 remained in closed indefinite detention.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|