Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Children at risk, lack of govt support

The Ombudsman Amendment (Child Protection and Community Services) Act 1998, commenced on May 7, 1999.

Let's take this further: The Federal Government has detained hundreds of young children and their families in desert detention camps locked in behind razor wire enclosures for the crime of fleeing persecution.

The Australian courts have found these children to be psychologically damaged from this imprisonment and likely to be so for life.

The NSW Commissioner of Police Ken Moroney yesterday called for a national summit on child abuse. I guess he won't be arresting Phillip Ruddock or John Howard, two of the worst child abusers on record.

In October stupid white Australians returned a child abusing, family abusing Federal Government intent on destroying the health, welfare and educational institutions built over generations for the care of needy children and families.

The last 30 years has seen a working wage fall so low that two parents working full time can only just meet their responsibilities to feed, house and educate their children.

30 years ago one wage sufficed. The stress of caring for children now is greater than any time in living memory.

Parents are torn from their children to work as wage slaves whilst their children are farmed out as a commodity to the child care industry. Grandparents have had to be dragged in to become de-facto parents to allow parents to slave away for measly wages.

Children bear the brunt of this stress and we can thank our leaders for this. Hale John Howard saviour of the antisocial State, leader of callous business, worshiper of profit, war monger, great leader of the Australians'.

This year in non-white Australia we have recently seen preventable child illness rise yet again. More black deaths from custodial abuse and two riots in black communities.

Governments are talking about introducing curfews, not just for blacks but whites too, that is young white drivers and kids in country towns where lack of services leads to behavioural problems.

What kind of government imprisons young children, places curfews on its citizens dissolves basic services and promotes aggressive invasions of other nations?

No prizes for guessing the right answer.

While govt & media put all efforts into punishment, hate, vilification etc, databases of offenders mean nothing whilst the govt neglects & abuses children in care.

By Tony York 14 December 04

2nd Renaissance -35 "All The Way With The USA" [261]

* "Australia's treatment of refugees in detention centres was the harshest in the world, federal human rights commissioner Sev Ozdowski said today. Dr Ozdowski said the billion dollar system removed basic liberties from refugees, resulting in levels of despair unseen in detention camps elsewhere. 'It (Australia's system) is the harshest - the harshest mainly form the point of view of the length (of detention),' he told seminar guests at Monash University. 'I've never seen the level of despair (in camps anywhere) that I've seen in Australia.'

He said the longest a child had been held in detention in Australia was five years, five months. By April this year, 50 children had been detained for more than two years. Dr Ozdowski ... said the social implications of indefinite detention were shattering. Family life disintegrated, people became suicidal and he had seen children as young as 10 with signs of self-harm. He quoted from one detainee who said "it's 16 months since my detention. My life has been taken away from me ... I've become a useless person who wishes for death every day." ...

Dr Ozdowski, who was once himself a Polish refugee, also said the government's system of temporary protection visas (TPVs) was "ill conceived" "I personally believe that the TPV system is a disaster and we'll be paying for it for a long time." ... He said the biggest human rights abuses had occurred during riots at the centres. "(It happened) where basically control was lost and gas was used and physical force was used." he said. "You just don't keep people imprisoned for a long time with no good reason."

Senator Vanstone issued a statement saying Australia was 'one of the great immigration success stories.' 'We have a generous, robust and ordered immigration system.' she said. (The Age, October 10, 2003)

* "The Commonwealth Ombudsman's office has confirmed it has received several complaints from detainees, particularly those put into detention centres with pre-existing medical conditions, claiming they have been denied treatment. ... One case being investigated by the Ombudsman involves a 37-year-old Lebanese man, Samir Abbas, who suffers from a heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. He was put into Villawood in February after overstaying his visa. His lawyer, Stephen Hopper, says Mr Abbas has been refused permission to have a heart operation which doctors say would control his recurring heart palpitations. Mr Abbas has offered to pay for the operation. It is claimed Mr Abbas suffered an 'episode' with his heart on Friday, but despite repeated requests to be taken to hospital, Villawood guards refused to act until his lawyer went to the ABC [media]. After media broadcasts, he was taken by ambulance to Bankstown hospital and kept overnight. Villawood management was rebuked by the deputy state coroner last month over the death of a Thai prostitute in September 2001. Villawood medical staff had refused to take her to hospital." (Sydney Morning Herald, May 16, 2003)

* "The Government has been hiding the real reasons why a private company lost the contract to run six immigration detention centres. ... Also covering up the poor performance is the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (Dima), which is acting in the commercial interests of [...]

BRW has discovered a serious contractual breach relating to [...] and its handling of an escape that the department is keeping secret. Despite the seriousness of the breach - and the amount of about [AU]$90 million in taxpayer's money paid to the company for each year of the contract - the Federal Government refuses to disclose details about why a default notice was served on [...]. The disclosure of Dima's default notice adds to continuing revelations about [...'s] poor operating performance at the six centres. It also brings into question the Government's claim that [...] lost the contract to manage the detention centres because of poor value for money rather than poor performance.

After a lengthy freedom-of-information request that began in May 2002, BRW has established that the department secretary, Bill Farmer, or his agent, issued a default notice to [...] under the contract. ... As a sign of the seriousness of the breach, Dima is not letting BRW see the document because of the harm it would do to [...]. The assistant secretary of unauthorised arrivals and detention services, Jim Williams, wrote to BRW on September 5: "I believe that there is a real risk that disclosure of the document would cause unreasonable harm to [...'s] business reputation and potentially prejudice its ability to perform competitively in its industry." (Business Review Weekly, September 26, 2003)

Mr Williams need not have worried about [...'s] business fortunes though, the company that replaced it in 2002 as the contractor for Australian immigration detention centres is now the subject of a conditional takeover offer by a renamed and rebadged [...]. If the truth were known, he probably had more reason to be worried about the safety of his family or his personal reputation and career. He was dealing with the biggest, toughest and most highly connected corrections corporation in the whole American Military Industrial Complex (AMIC). Those 'Good-ol'-Boys' don't muck around, and few Australian bureaucrats have ever had to deal with anything like [...] before. They are putty in its hands.

By Lothar 2003


DOCS fails in its duty of care
ELEANOR HALL: A shocking report has revealed that the agency responsible for protecting children in New South Wales is partly to blame for the death of more than 50 children it knew to be at risk.

Afghan children lose High Court battle against detention
Lawyers have lost their constitutional challenge to the detention of four children at a South Australian immigration centre. Four siblings from Afghanistan, aged between seven and 15, have been in detention since they arrived in Australia in 2001.

Apologise to children abused in care: report
A Senate report on children placed in institutional care has called for the Federal Government to apologise to those who were harmed by their experience.

Gillard stirs Liberal leadership pot
Mr Costello yesterday said that the Federal Government should aim to get all children out of immigration detention and he suggested there should be an increase in immigration levels.

Here is a new project
1. Do you believe it is right to imprison innocent children?
2. Do you believe it is right to imprison innocent women?
3. Do you believe it is right to imprison innocent people?

Compo claims could follow child detention, group warns
A refugee group has predicted a string of compensation claims, after the Human Rights Commission found numerous and repeated breaches of the UN convention on the rights of the child in immigration detention.

Child detention breaches UN convention: human rights report
A leaked final draft report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) is calling for urgent changes to Australia's immigration detention laws.

Report recommends freeing child detainees
The Human Rights Commission has found that some children held in Australia's immigration detention centres have been exposed to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

No more children for Baxter, pleads SA
The South Australian Government is urging the Commonwealth not to shift any more children into the Baxter detention centre in the state's north.

Nauru staff 'fear children are next'
Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone says women and children are sitting in on a hunger strike at the Nauru detention centre, but are not participating.

Australian Govt human rights record 'worsening'
Community groups have given the Federal Government five out of ten for its record on human rights this year. Mr Purcell said the Government was also marked down because of the policy of holding children in immigration detention centres.

Detention centre maggots
A Greens' MP has slammed claims that South Australia's Baxter Detention Centre detainees are putting maggots into their own food.