Children’s refugee advocacy group ChilOut says the plight of teenagers being held at the remote Leonora Detention Centre will be brought to international attention after its visit to the facility today.
The trip is the beginning of a month-long international campaign, ‘End the Immigration Detention of Children’, which is protesting against the Federal Government’s treatment of child asylum seekers.
The Leonora Detention Centre in WA’s Goldfields currently holds more than 90 unaccompanied male teenagers.
‘ChilOut’ campaign director Sophie Peer says she has heard distressing stories from young asylum seekers previously held at the facility.
“Ali is his name and he speaks of the remoteness of Leonora, of the feeling of isolation in all senses – having no idea why he was sent there, how long he would be there,” she said.
“I think that theme will be common amongst many of the children we meet over the next few days.”
She says Australia has gained a horrible reputation for its treatment of asylum seekers.
“We’ve had all manner of United Nations’ … reports, criticisms on many international fronts for the way successive governments have treated asylum seekers and that international pressure continues and will mount really strongly throughout May,” she said.
ABC News 2 May 2012