ACOSS on attacks on the Australian Human Rights Commission

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie:

ACOSS joins the Australian Bar Association and Law Council of Australia (statement here) in expressing alarm at the unprecedented personal attacks on Human Rights Commissioner Professor Gillian Triggs and the Australian Human Rights Commission following the release of ‘The Forgotten Children’ report into children in detention.

ACOSS is concerned that these attacks deflect attention from the serious findings in the Australian Human Rights Commission Report which sets out detailed and compelling evidence of the tragic harm caused by the detention of children. The Report holds both current and former Federal Governments to account for policies which have led to documented human rights violations. It also clearly welcomes the reduction in numbers of children in detention under the current Federal Government. The Report offers a deeply disturbing record of the harm inflicted on so many children by successive governments.

ACOSS supports the call by more than 200 organisations for the immediate and indefinite end to the detention of children in Australian controlled detention centres (joint statement here).

The Government, Opposition and all members of the Australian Parliament must take immediate action to ensure that all children are released from Australian-funded detention centres, in Australia and Nauru, and to ensure that these policies are never repeated.

ACOSS calls on the Federal Government to cease personal and institutional attacks on the Australian Human Rights Commissions including its President, Professor Triggs, which only serve to compromise the integrity of our public institutions charged with holding governments to account. ACOSS urges the Federal Government to respond as quickly as possible to the disturbing findings in the Report.

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The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (2014)