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20.2.15

Letter to Minister Dutton to honour recommendations of "Children in Detention" report 16 February 2015

16th February 2015
Dear Minister Dutton,

On 11th February I listened to the Prime Minister scornfully dismissing Professor Gillian Triggs' thorough and objective Report on children in detention. It was a disgraceful performance and did nothing at all to instil any confidence in the parliamentary process. 

How have we come to sink so low? It is surely time for your government to start listening and to refrain from hectoring and insulting our intelligence. Shooting the messenger will not make the problems go away.

Professor Triggs' Report amounts to a thorough and comprehensive indictment of the policies of both the current Coalition Government and the Labor Government before it. How can the government hold more than 100 children indefinitely on Nauru, given that both Chris Bowen MP and Scott Morrison MP both agreed on oath before the Enquiry that holding children in detention does not deter either asylum seekers or people smugglers? 

What possible rationale can the government offer, then, for the indefinite detention of children seeking asylum in Australia?

The findings set out in the Report are both shocking and shameful. No other country mandates the closed and indefinite detention of asylum seekers. It is clear that the actions of the Government, and its predecessor, are in breach of our international obligations.

I call on the Government to give the most serious and urgent consideration to the recommendations set out in the Report and to make a serious commitment to the  Australian people that the recommendations will be acted on in the shortest possible timeframe.

I look forward to receiving your response to the questions raised above.

                                                                                                            Yours sincerely,


                                                                                                            Mike Griffin

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