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Statement On Children in Immigration Detention

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Children’s Healthcare Australia Position Statement On
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:

1. Robjant K, Hassan R, Katona
C. Mental health implications of detaining
asylum
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.

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