Detention is no place for any child

9 July 2021

Detention is no place for any child

Position Statement 8 July 2021

Children’s Healthcare Australasia (CHA) has long advocated that children should not be held in immigration detention.  As a community of more than 90 children’s hospitals and paediatric units across Australia, we stand with our colleagues at the Academy of Child and Adolescent Health(link is external) (ACAH) and support the call for a permanent resolution on the immigration status of Tharnicaa Murugappan and her family.

Whilst there has been a recent announcement by the Immigration Minister allowing the family to be reunified and based in the community, following the need for medical evacuation of the youngest child from Christmas Island, the short term nature of the visas granted means the family’s future remains uncertain.

Detention of children seeking asylum has profound negative impacts on their physical and psychological health, development and wellbeing.  Detention of children seeking asylum is a breach of Australia’s obligations under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Any decision to delay resolution of the Murugappan Family’s application for asylum in Australia is effectively a decision to cause further trauma and harm to their children.  This issue must be resolved as a matter of urgency.

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