The Royal Children’s Hospital Staff Support for Children in Australian Immigration Detention Facilities
12 October 2015
Northside Community Service strongly supports the doctors, nurses and support staff at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in their publicly declared concerns for the immediate and long-term safety, health and wellbeing of children in Australian immigration detention facilities.
As a not-for-profit community-based organisation that works directly with around 450 young children every week across our four Early Childhood Centres, as well as with many other children and their families in our other community programs, Northside strongly believes in children’s rights as fundamental to our responsibilities to children.
Independent research and analysis, detailed in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Forgotten Children Report in 2014, has conclusively demonstrated that Australia’s immigration detention centres harm children physically, mentally and emotionally. This is clearly incompatible with Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Northside calls on the Federal Government to heed the calls from medical professionals, human rights experts and community organisations to end the detention of children in Australia’s immigration system.
Northside acknowledges RCH’s staff for their bravery in advocating for children either directly or indirectly in their care. Their strong actions remind all organisations working with young children of their ethical obligations to advocate for the rights of all children.
October 24 marks the beginning of National Children’s Week. The theme for 2015 is “Children’s Rights are Human Rights”. We call on our colleagues within the Early Childhood Education community to join us in support the staff of RCH and calling on the Federal Government to end the detention of children.