CHA Position Statement on Children in Immigration Detention

20 June 2018

CHA Position Statement on Children in Immigration Detention

To coincide with the 2018 World Refugee Day on 20 June, CHA is pleased to inform its members and healthcare community of a statement approved by the CHA board addressing our concerns regarding children in immigration detention:

As a community of more than 80 paediatric healthcare services across Australia, Children’s Healthcare Australasia wishes to add its voice to concerns raised in the Australian and international communities about the harmful effects on both physical and mental health of immigration detention on children and their families.

CHA recognises that indefinite detention of children seeking asylum has profound negative impacts on children’s health and that of their families, and express our opposition to the detention of children seeking asylum in Australia.

CHA also acknowledges that healthcare professionals and managers of children’s services experience significant distress when being obliged to discharge children admitted to their care back into an environment likely to cause significant further harm to the child’s health.

CHA supports all children seeking asylum being treated in accordance with Australia’s undertaking to observe the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

References
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seekers: systematic review. Br J Psychiatry 2009;194:306-12.

2. Sultan A, O'Sullivan K. Psychological disturbances in asylum seekers held in long term
detention: a participant-observer account. Med J Aust 2001;175:593-6.

3. Steel Z, Momartin S, Bateman C, et al. Psychiatric status of asylum seeker families
held for a protracted period in a remote detention centre in Australia. Aust NZ J
Public Health 2004;28:527-36.

4. Mares S, Jureidini J. Psychiatric assessment of children and families in immigration
detention - clinical, administrative and ethical issues. Aust NZ J Public Health
2004;28:520-6.

5. Young P, Gordon MS. Mental health screening in immigration detention: A fresh look
at Australian government data. Australasian Psychiatry 2016;24:19–22.