Sunday, February 6, 2011

Big Lies* told in the service of corporate and political power: No children in immigration detention

photo courtesy of Refugee Rights Action Network WA

In 2007 the Australian Labor Party promised that when in government no child would be held in immigration detention. By February 2011, after four years of a Labor Government, there are nearly 1500 children and youth (including unaccompanied minors) still detained within Australia's detention regime.

Over the life of the first Rudd/Gillard Government the number of children in immigration detention facilities actually increased, while successive Ministers declared that there were no children in detention

Whilst expanding the detention regime, the Labor Government hid behind semantics by using the technicality that detention facilities were not detention centres, but rather "alternative places of detention" (APOD)

In October 2010 the Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration claimed again that the Labor Government would move all children and young people out of immigration detention facilities by June 2011.

In February 2011 there are 1040 children and youth aged under 18 locked up in Australian detention centres. Many are not going to school. There are also 463 unaccompanied minors held in detention.

*Big Lies is a regular series that aims to highlight the official culture of lies and deceit at the heart of Australia's political and corporate elites. It documents the lies told in the service of corporate and political power.

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