High school students call for compassion for asylum seekers

09 July 2013
High school students call for compassion for asylum seekers Photo by Siobhan Marren, Senior Policy Officer, UnitingJustice

Australian Young Christian Students (AYCS), part of the End Child Detention Coalition, has called for all sides of politics to give special consideration to children who are currently detained in Australia's immigration system.

Annie Purbrick, 16 year old spokesperson for AYCS welcomed Immigration Minister Tony Burke moving the last 12 child asylum seekers off Manus Island, but explained there is a great deal of work still to be done.

“Children are a particularly vulnerable group and should not be subject to Australia’s harsh treatment of children who have turned to us for help,” said Ms. Purbrick.

“It remains vital for their health and wellbeing that asylum seeker children and their families be processed here in Australia without being subjected to extended periods of detention.

“The best interests of the child also need to be considered in light of any regional proposals.

“A recent report by Human Rights Watch reveals accompanied and unaccompanied children are arbitrarily detained in Indonesia and subject to abusive conditions.

“It is important to remember that neither Indonesia nor Malaysia have signed the Refugee Convention. This means that asylum seeker children in these countries live without the stability and security that all kids deserve.”

The End Child Detention Coalition has come together to advocate for the rights of young asylum seekers. The Coalition believes that every child should be treated in full accordance with international law regarding child rights. Recently over 8,000 high school students around Australia volunteered to take a voluntary ‘Detention 4 Detention’ to stand in solidarity with children in immigration detention.