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17.4.14

letter to Scot Morrison Children in Detention 15 April 2014


Valla Beach
 NSW 2448
                                                                                                
                                                                                                15th April 2014

Dear Scott Morrison,
I am writing to you to express my deep concern about the ongoing detention of children  on mainland Australia, on Christmas Island and on Nauru. As an Australian citizen, I feel deeply ashamed that my government continues to flout international law for narrow political and ideological purposes. You know as well as I do that, under international law, children should not be held in detention for any longer than is absolutely necessary for health and security checks to be carried out.
As an ex-high school principal, I have a good understanding of the need for young people to live in a safe and secure environment, to feel that they are being well cared for and to have access to full-time, good quality education. You are providing none of these, and it is clear from your regular statements to the media that it is your government's clear intention to continue the current inhumane, immoral and unlawful policy.
How can you, in all conscience, despatch 177 children, many of them unaccompanied, to Nauru, where there is scant provision for their education and welfare? How do you reconcile this with the comments that you made in your maiden speech to Parliament? What has happened to the "values of loving kindness, justice and righteousness" and your commitment "to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others"? If your words to Parliament were sincere, then where is the urgent action to release all these children from detention and to provide them with a caring, supportive environment in which they can grow and learn? Without serious and urgent action, your eloquent words in Parliament in 2008 can only be regarded as self-serving and deeply hypocritical.
I look forward to learning about serious action on your part to release the 1,100 children currently held in detention without further delay.

                                                                                                Yours sincerely,

                                                                                                 Mike G