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Children out of immigration detention now say peak health groups

Published: 18 March 2015

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) has joined with other peak health groups in Australia to call for the immediate release of all children in immigration detention including those children held on Nauru.

The AASW is responding to the consistent evidence they have received from social workers, working with refugees and asylum seekers, that the mandatory detention of children does significant harm to the social, emotional and psychological development of children and adolescents.

Professor Karen Healy, President of the AASW, says “It is time for both main political parties to begin afresh and say never, never again are we going to place children in immigration detention for short term political gain. The tide has turned, as the general public has come to realize how unfair and damaging the policy of the immigration detention of children is. Both sides of politics are responsible for this sad situation, so they should both stop blaming each other and begin looking for humane sustainable solutions that do not harm children.”

The AASW represents over 8200 professional social workers, many of whom work directly with refugees and asylum seekers. As such they experience firsthand the incredible distress and harm mandatory immigration detention of children is causing.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers