Peak health groups call for children to be released from immigration detention

Australia’s peak health professional bodies have joined together to call on the Government to immediately release all children and their families from immigration detention in Australia and Nauru.

Our organisations represent a wide range of health professionals who have seen, first-hand, the devastating impact of detention on the health and wellbeing of children and their families.

Many of our organisations provided input into to the Australian Human Rights Commission National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention. The report, The Forgotten Children, released a month ago, reflects our ongoing concerns.

We believe there is a moral imperative for the Government to implement the recommendations of the report, in particular:
– remove children and their families from detention centres on and offshore and release them into the Australian community, and
– urgently appoint an independent guardian for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Australia.

In addition we reiterate the need to appoint an independent panel of health professionals to provide advice and oversight of health and healthcare in detention facilities on and off shore, with agreement for the panel to consult with our organisations.

The Government must show leadership on this important issue and act now to prevent further unnecessary and long-lasting harm to children in their care.

The groups making this call are:

Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
Australian Medical Association
Australian Psychological Society
Public Health Association of Australia
Children’s Healthcare Australasia
Australian Association of Social Workers
Australian Medical Students for Refugee and Asylum Seeker Mental Health
Australian College of Nursing
Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
Australian College of Midwives
Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses Australia
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

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