RANZCP calls for an end to the policy of children in immigration detention

21 September 2018

In response to recent media reports about the children on Nauru, the RANZCP would like to restate its opposition to the prolonged and indefinite detention of child asylum seekers.

The RANZCP considers the immigration detention centre environment as detrimental to the development and mental health of children and adolescents.

The RANZCP believes that these facilities also have the potential to cause long-term damage to social and emotional functioning of young people.  

This position is outlined in the RANZCP’s 2015 Position Statement 52 Children in Immigration Detention.

Some of the key recommendations from Position Statement 52 are:

  • Australia’s immigration detention laws, policies and practice should be amended to comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Children, especially young children, should be removed from detention together with their families.
  • Comprehensive assessment of child asylum seekers in detention should examine the roles of environmental deprivation, the availability of parental emotional support and the effects of traumatic exposure in contributing to clinical disorder.
  • Mental disorders in child and adolescent detainees should be assessed by child and adolescent psychiatrists or mental health specialists and, when identified, should be managed outside the detention environment.

Read our full position statement