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SA questions Govt on child detention duties

SA questions Govt on child detention duties

The Law Society of South Australia (LSSA) has called upon the Federal Government to fulfil its obligations to release children from detention into community-based accommodation. The LSSA has…

The Law Society of South Australia (LSSA) has called upon the Federal Government to fulfil its obligations to release children from detention into community-based accommodation.

The LSSA has asked Prime Minster Julia Gillard and Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen to fulfil their obligations under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, to release all unaccompanied children and families with children from alternative places of detention.

LSSA President Ralph Bönig has written to the Government asking that it address the findings of the inquiry by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission entitled, "A Last Resort". The inquiry presented overwhelming evidence that detention may result in mental and physical developmental issues.

"The Government's obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child are that the best interests of the child should be the primary consideration in all decisions affecting children," Bönig said.

"They should be provided access to education and a standard of living adequate for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development. This is certainly not happening for children on Christmas Island."

Bönig added that unless immediate action is pursued, the Government is unlikely to meet its June deadline to "progressively move several hundred children and families into community based accommodation".

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