Australia to move children from immigrant detention centres

DPA Sydney | Updated on August 19, 2014

The Australian government Tuesday said it would release hundreds of children from immigrant detention centres while their asylum applications are being processed.

The decision applies to children under 10 who arrived before July 19, 2013 and are held in mainland detention centres, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told ABC radio.

“It’s importantly a humanitarian issue. The government doesn’t want to see children in detention,” he said.

Morrison said the government hoped to transfer the children and their families into so-called residential detention by the end of the year.

They would be given access to schools, healthcare, orientation and English-language programmes.

Some 870 children are among the thousands of immigrants being detained on the mainland and offshore on Nauru and Christmas islands.

A national inquiry into their welfare recently documented abuse and neglect of children in detention centres. People from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are among those seeking refuge in Australia. Some made the journey by boat.

Published on August 19, 2014

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