The Refugee Rights Action Network condemns the government’s recent decision to once again place families out at the remote detention facility at Leonora. The Human Rights Commission has condemned the conditions at the camp & described them as “unsuitable for children and their families”. Detention is an unsuitable environment for any child, unaccompanied or not, and the conditions at this camp have a demonstrably negative effect on the mental health of both the children and adults interned there.

Once again Chris Bowen, Minister for Immigration, has violated his promise to ensure no child is placed at risk by being detained in the remote internment camps. Community leaders in Leonora have spoken out publicly against this practice as they have become aware of the harm done to the parents, children, & unaccompanied minors sent to this remote facility. These vulnerable children, those with & those without their parents, need community based support in urban areas. Imprisonment in a remote internment camp or will merely serve to exacerbate their trauma and is proven to damage mental health.

Refugee Rights Action Network members have previously visited the camp to highlight the intolerable conditions and ensure the families know there are supportive persons in the community.

Should the government persist in forcing families and unaccompanied minors to live in this unacceptable environment RRAN will have no choice but to once again make the long journey out to highlight the broken promise that children will be housed in the community.

On January 26, Australia Day, the “BOUNDLESS PLAINS TO SHARE” tour will depart from Perth to once again make the long journey to Leonora to show our compassion and our rejection of the damaging practice of mandatory detention. We invite all interested members of the community to join us in this endeavour.

0417 904 329