HREOC "Child Abuse Report" tabled in silence and sneakiness

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130

HREOC "Child Abuse Report" tabled in silence and sneakiness

Media Release
Thursday May 13 2004 15:00pm EST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"It is blatantly evident that the timing of the tabling of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's Report into Children in Immigration Detention is proof beyond doubt how shamed the Howard government is about its own atrocious dealings with asylum seekers, particularly children in detention."

"From a government that has adopted a policy of whisking away asylum seekers as well as their human rights into far-away hiding places, we can also expect a 'whisking away' of such a damning report to a forlorn place of the parliamentary agenda, in a week where the Annual Appropriation Bill is on the front pages of every Australian newspaper; after question time, when a minimum of MP's care to give attention or are present on the floor of Parliament."

"Without a peep, the Report was tabled shortly after Question Time in Parliament by the former Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock, without even so much as a speech. Ruddock knows he is seriously guilty, and the start of prosecutions against him will be the outstanding $7K damages claim by an eight-year-old child in one of Australia's civil courts."

"Howard's asylum policy cost not only $113.9 million dollars in the 2002/03 financial year, Australian taxpayers are also paying with their conscience for untold damage inflicted on even very young children and babies."

Project SafeCom's Barbara Rogalla, a former Woomera nurse who testified before the Commission for the report, commented that Australia has managed to create a situation where child abuse and human rights atrocities are made legal through the "lawful application of the immigration laws of the Migration Act, but as a result, deeply scarring damage has been caused to children. The application of these immigration laws, with bi-partisan support, enacted by Parliament, amounts to a gross misuse of the notion of justice, and it needs to be rectified by an Act of Parliament at its earliest convenience."

For more information:

Barbara Rogalla
[phone number posted]

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

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