A GROUP of federal MPs has crossed political divides to make a joint call for the end to mandatory detention of child asylum seekers.
Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the issue should be above politics.
“This is about children’s rights,” she told reporters in Canberra today.
The senator said there was a need to amend the Migration Act to limit any time in detention for health and security checks at appropriate locations.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said detaining children was unnecessary, unethical and harmful.
“One of the reasons children are in detention for long periods of time is because their parent or their guardian or carer may have an adverse security assessment,” he said.
While the assessments were warranted in some cases, it was arguable in others, he said.
“All people should have a right of appeal,” Mr Wilkie said.
Liberal MP Judi Moylan said people need to insist that there was greater political will to change the system.
“It’s time that we had bipartisan action to put a stop to putting children into maximum security prisons,” she said.
Labor MP Janelle Saffin said she was trying to change government policy on security assessments.
“It’s in our platform that we’re seeking to have those decisions reviewed.”
Detention centres were no place for children and their time there should be limited, she said.
“If there’s need for health and security checks for them to pass through then it has to be the shortest possible time,” Ms Saffin said.
“But they deserve alternative forms of care.”
From news.com.au 30 May 2012