Australia needs an independent guardian for all refugee children in detention, the Australian Greens said today.
“Independent guardianship is essential because someone needs to stand up and take care of these children,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“While inspecting the PNG detention centre this week I heard concerning reports that an unaccompanied child may currently be held on Manus Island.
“A young person who is being held there is claiming to be under the age of 18 and an unaccompanied minor.
“Under Labor’s new offshore processing laws, he has no legal guardian at all in PNG and should therefore be brought to the mainland immediately.
“The Manus Island detention centre is no place for children and it is unacceptable that any child is being sent there, let alone an unaccompanied one.
“It is also clear that there is an urgent need for an independent guardian to be put in place in Australia.
“I am concerned for the 130 children who have been sent to the Pontville detention centre in Tasmania.
“Someone actually needs to care for these unaccompanied minors who the Minster, as their supposed ‘guardian’, has abandoned.
“We need to know who will be looking out for the best interests of young refugees, not just in Tasmania but across the country, because it’s obvious the Minister is not.”
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