UnitingJustice Australia made a submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015. We recommended that the bill not be passed as it gives even greater powers to detention centre security staff to use force with impunity in their interactions with asylum seekers. Lack of definition of "reasonable force" leaves open the possibility of a variety of definitions by different stakeholders. We argue that the greatest threats to the safety and security of asylum seekers in immigration detention are physical and sexual abuse, significant mental health conditions, and self-harm as a result of conditions in detention. The increased use of force by detention centre staff will not improve the situation, and may in fact make it worse.
Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 201520 April 2015