Australia doctors protest to demand release of refugee children from detention

2015-10-12 07:19:35 | Al Muslim News
Australia doctors protest to demand release of refugee children from detention
Doctors have taken a bold stand against the Government and demand an end to the continuing detention of almost 200 children.

 

A group of Australian doctors Monday ramped up pressure on the government over its hardline policy on asylum-seekers, saying children they treat from immigration centres should not be returned to detention where conditions could harm them.

Thousands of Australians rallied over the weekend urging Pacific island detention camps be shut, and medical professionals at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne are reportedly refusing to discharge asylum-seeker patients if they are to be locked up again, FMT reported.

The stance was backed by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

AMA president Brain Owler said children behind bars suffered psychologically and doctors faced an ethical dilemma.

“Doctors are put in a very difficult position,” he told national radio.

“If we had a child that comes into our hospital that we feared if sending them back to an environment which we felt was going to be harmful, where they were at risk of abuse, we would be negligent if we sent them back to that environment.

“And that is what the doctors at the Royal Children’s Hospital are saying. We cannot send children back to an environment where they’re going to be harmed.”

RACP president Nick Talley added in a statement that “time and again, the Australian public has seen inquiries and heard excuses for the wrongs committed against children inside these detention centres”.

“The health and well-being of children should never be open to compromise. No child should be held in detention,” he said.

All asylum-seekers coming by boat to Australia are now sent to camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru and ultimately denied resettlement in Australia even if they are found to be genuine refugees.

Although the tough policy, which also includes turning back boats, has stopped frequent drownings, human rights organisations have slammed the prolonged detention, particularly of children, as a breach of Australia’s legal obligations.

Owler estimated some 200 children were being held, about half in Australia and the rest offshore. Government figures recently said 86 children were on Nauru.

Distressed about the welfare of dozens of patients brought to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne while in immigration detention, staff on Sunday penned an emotive opinion piece for the Herald Sun newspaper.

“As health staff at a leading children’s hospital, our duty is to support child health. We cannot accept or condone harm to children. Detention causes harm and it must end,” it said.

“We call for moral leadership on this issue to find a solution, quickly — to use alternatives to detention and to stop the harm.”

The numbers of children in immigration detention peaked at 1,992 in mid-2013 under the former Labor administration, but they have been significantly reduced since the conservative government was elected in September that year.

Since ousting Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party and the government last month, Turnbull has admitted to concerns about the Pacific island camps. But he has given no indication of immediate policy changes.

 

.

Tags: #Australia #

Latest News

What to Next

Everything you need to know about Eid Al Fitr 2017

Eid Al Fitr is likely to be observed on June 25 in most Muslim countries. Muslims across the world will be hosting dozens of celebrations for Eid, ... More

Record breaking Iftars gathering at NSW Parliament : Australia

Mega-Iftar at the NSW Parliament on Wednesday 7 June, co-hosted by The Hon Ray Williams MP and Ms Sophie Cotsis, MP. This was the Affinity Interc... More

Younus shines but Australia in charge on day three of Sydney Test

Pakistan's Younus Khan notched his 34th Test century but Australia had reduced the tourists to 271 for eight, still 68 runs short of avoiding the ... More

White House accuses Israel of betraying trust

WASHINGTON: The White House accused Israel of a betrayal of trust Wednesday, in an unusually sharp rebuke over its plans to build hundreds of new sett... More

Responses of all Muslims in Australia to Aussie Prime Minister to Muslims said Live with our beliefs or get out.

A strong and surge responses observed after the Aussie Minister speech about the immigration issues and focusing especially Muslim immigrants. People ... More

Syrian army seizes only road into rebel-held Aleppo

BEIRUT: Syria’s army and allied militia fighters seized the only road into the rebel-held part of Aleppo on Sunday, tightening a siege around op... More

Australian PM holds national Iftar in Sydney

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted a Ramadan Iftar on Thursday evening 16 June at Kirribilli House, Sydney, a first by an Australian PM. The in... More

Newly built Austrian refugee shelter set on fire, says Red Cross

VIENNA: A building in northern Austria that was due to house dozens of asylum seekers was deliberately set on fire, the Red Cross said on Wednesday, a... More

Bulgarian town bans face veil in public: Bulgaria

SOFIA: A Bulgarian town that is home to a Roma minority practising an ultraconservative form of Islam on Wednesday banned Islamic face veils in public... More

Europe intolerant towards Muslim politicians :EU

 Smear campaigns targeting Muslim politicians across Europe, which have seen many forced to quit, highlight an attitude of intolerance toward Mus... More

8