A recent report that women and children are to be housed at the Wickham Point detention centre outside Darwin is a sad event. It would have been far more humane and practical to place them within our communities, even if under a regulated regime.
It is never justifiable to hold vulnerable children in a detention facility. The harm that this does emotionally and psychologically is too great. We know this from the many, past reports provided by experienced professionals. The long term effects of detention on children are too drastic to warrant such a measure. Children cannot be blamed for their parents’ choices, they certainly should not to be punished for them.
Our community’s keenness to minimise the influx of refugees into Australia does not justify the maltreatment of children. No amount of rationalisation and spin doctoring can ever vindicate such a brutal practice as the detention of innocent children. We cannot continue to detain children. It is unjust and offends our common humanity.