NO-ONE CHOOSES TO BE AN ASYLUM SEEKER. We are on Larrakia country.
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NO-ONE CHOOSES TO BE AN ASYLUM SEEKER
I take seriously my role as an elder in my community and on my land. We would not deal with young people in this way. If I had my way there would be a traditional welcome to country and teaching. ....These young people have done nothing wrong. They are being punished rather than treated with compassion”
June Mills, Larrakia Elder
DIAC statistics Feb 2011
Chris Bowen ABC radio, 15/2/11
Northern Immigration Detention Centre, Stuart Highway
The ASTI motel
Darwin Airport Lodge
There are 400 more beds being built at the airport lodge
There is a 1500 bed detention centre being built at Wickham Point.
Darwin is being called the ‘ detention capital of Australia’
When people come here applying for refugee status, 50% of applications are approved at an initial interview.
Many wait for up to 14 months for an independent review of that decision.
At the Independent Review, 96% of people have their claims approved and are found to be genuine refugees
Then , many of them have to wait up to another 14 months, in detention, as genuine refugees, for a security clearance.
In October last year, 330 asylum seekers who arrived by boat were stuck in detention, waiting for an ASIO assessment.
Today, it is nearly 1000.
One (common) story :
“ I visit a family who have been in detention for over 14 months, a mother and her three children, under the age of nine - three kids under the age of nine, with their mother, being held in detention indefinitely now, despite the fact that they've been assessed as in being in genuine need of protection. They are refugees and yet we're keeping them locked up.”
1084 children remain
in detention despite the Government’s commitment to move all children out of detention by June this year
The numbers continue to rise every day. Today there are:
1084 children in detention.
456 of these are unaccompanied minors – without adult family.
Many of these are here in Darwin
“I’ve got a six-year-old son and if I wasn’t here I would hope that somebody out there would do something to protect his interests and his rights”
I am a Hazara young man, from Afghanistan. I am scared and confused. I cannot sleep and have headaches all the time. Sometimes I self-harm. I left my Family at age 11. Before leaving my Family, I used to practise as an artist and wanted to be an accomplished artist. I had not painted until a volunteer brought me some paints about 1 month ago.
I am constantly worried and nervous. I had an interview about my application last week and await an outcome. Although I hear that unaccompanied minors will be released into the community, we are told it would not affect us till June next year. Anything can happen in that time. I so badly want to be outside, seeing how people live. I want to learn to live again. Being detained is unbearable. I hope that you will take my message to your leaders.
September 2010 - Hazara boy in detention ( still in detention today)
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Multicultural Youth NT (MyNT): one story of taking action
- ASRC, RCOA, AMNESTY, DASSAN
INFORM YOUR ORGANISATION
JOIN WITH OTHERS
AND……? Share with others on your table one thing you could do on this issue.
Australians are capable of much greater generosity and compassion ….. We can see that the tiny group of people who manage to get here are people with courage and initiative, fleeing in fear and asking for our protection.
Julian Burnside, Human Rights Lawyer