Hindus have urged Australia Government to wake-up and listen to its own Australia Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on the plight of 800 children in immigration detention.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended AHRC on its stand: “Australia should return to its historical generosity of spirit by welcoming to our shores those who seek our protection from conflict and persecution.”
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that it was disturbing to note from AHRC’s “National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention” report that Australia was holding “about 800 children in mandatory closed immigration detention for indefinite periods, with no pathway to protection or settlement…. Over 167 babies have been born in detention within the last 24 months.”
Rajan Zed agreed with AHRC recommendations—release of these children and their families into the Australian community, appointment of independent guardian for asylum seeking unaccompanied children, access to government funded mental health support for detained children, implementation of Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc.
Zed further said that Australia should not shy away from its international obligations as mandatory immigration detention was contrary to Australia’s international obligations. “No other country mandates the closed and indefinite detention of children when they arrive on our shores”, this AHRC report says and adds, “Australia has no constitutional or legislative Bill of Rights…The Convention on the Rights of the Child is not part of Australian law”.
Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of Sydney headquartered AHRC, an independent statutory organization established in 1986 by an act of the Australian Parliament. This inquiry report sent to Attorney-General was tabled on February 11.