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Chilout Newsletter January 2015

Chilout Newsletter January 2015

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ChilOut - Children Out of Immigration Detention

Update on the Release of Children 
Despite the Minister for Immigration’s promise that children would be released in the early months of 2015, hundreds of children remain in detention.
According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s latest statistics, dated 31 December 2014, there are:
  • 420 children in locked detention facilities in Australia; and
  • 135 children in a locked detention centre on Nauru.
In addition, there are also still approximately 28 unaccompanied children living in the community on Nauru living in fear for their safety and having limited opportunities for education, work or play.
ChilOut will continue fighting until there is no child left in detention and until the law is changed so that children can never be locked up again. The Government has said that the children held in detention on Nauru are not part of its planned release of children and remain subject to its offshore processing policy. However, unlike the Government, ChilOut will not abandon these children. We are currently working on our 2015 strategic plan of which a key component will be getting children off Nauru and ensure that no child seeking asylum is sent offshore in future.
Latest News
New Immigration Minister – Cabinet Reshuffling sees Dutton Replace Morrison
Former Health Minister Peter Dutton has replaced Scott Morrison as the new Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. You can read more here. ChilOut are concerned that the new minister appears to echo the hard line approach of Mr Morrison, including his persistence in referring to those seeking asylum as “illegals” and “potential criminals” on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website. While there are no children detained on Manus Island, the recent unrest and the refusal of Mr Dutton to address the concerns of detained refugees is deeply worrying. ChilOut urges the new minister to break the cycle of cruelty that has defined our immigration regime over the past twenty years and implement policies that are grounded in compassion and guided by our international human rights obligations.
Baby Ferouz and his parents released from detention into the community
In news worthy of celebration, the Myuddin family who have been detained for fourteen months, have been released from detention in Darwin. Baby Ferouz, who has known no life other than the inside of a detention centre, is one of the 30 babies that was born in Australia to asylum seeker mothers who will be allowed to remain in the community while his claim for protection is processed. You can read more about it here.
The battle to free Ferouz has been a long and arduous one – and the impact on his mother Latifar has been devastating. Ferouz was born in Brisbane after Latifar was brought to the mainland from Nauru after her health deteriorated. Latifar was prevented from seeing Ferouz immediately after the birth, and their battle for freedom has been waged every day since. ChilOut are delighted for the Myuddin family, but their fight is not yet over. While they will be permitted to move to Melbourne where they have an extended family support network, the legislation passed last year means they will only be eligible to apply for a three-year temporary protection visa and will never be able to apply for permanent protection. ChilOut will continue to advocate for families like the Myuddins, so that they may find a safe place to live and raise their family.
AHRC Report into Children in Immigration Detention Soon to be Released
Keep your eye out for the release of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report into children in immigration detention. The report must be tabled by the Attorney-General by 11 February 2015. ChilOut made a submission to the AHRC’s inquiry and also appeared before the inquiry’s public hearing to highlight the severely detrimental impact of detention on the mental health of children.
Amnesty Berry Event –  “Nauru’s Forgotten Children”
Amnesty International’s Berry Local Action Group is holding a public forum in Berry on Saturday 31stJanuary 2015 on Nauru’s forgotten children. The forum will feature ChilOut’s very own Dianne Hiles, as well as an impressive line up of speakers including the author of The Undesirables: Inside Nauru. The forum will examine Australia’s asylum seeker and offshore processing policies in this 25th anniversary year of Australia’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. For full details of the event, please go to:
Last Chance to Apply for ChilOut’s 2015 Youth Ambassadors Program
Are you between the ages of 15 and 25 and an Australian citizen or permanent resident? Are you from a refugee background or passionate about refugee issues? Do you know anyone who might fit this criteria? If so, please let them know about ChilOut’s 2015 youth ambassadors program. We are currently looking for approximately 10 youth ambassadors who will work with ChilOut in 2015 on issues surrounding children in detention. All youth ambassadors will receive training from ChilOut and will work closely with ChilOut’s Youth Ambassador Coordinator and Campaign Coordinator.
ChilOut’s youth ambassadors program started in 2004 and is aimed at empowering young people to have a voice and advocate for the rights of children seeking asylum. All the information about our 2015 program can be found on our website here.However, applications for the program close on 31 January 2015, so make sure you get in now before it’s too late! For any questions about the program, please email ChilOut’s Youth Ambassadors Coordinator at
ChilOut Needs Your Help!
ChilOut is a very small organisation with only two paid staff members working part-time. Although we are only small, with passion and dedication and some amazing volunteer assistance we still manage to an enormous amount done! However, without further financial help we do not have sufficient resources to carry out all our planned work in 2015.  This is why we need your help.
Please donate to ChilOut today at However small or big, your donation will enable to ChilOut to continue its important work to ensure that all children are released from immigration detention and that children are not detained in future. By supporting ChilOut you will play a vital role in ensuring that children are no longer held in remote offshore facilities where they are subjected to abuse. We have a lot planned for 2015, including a campaign to highlight Australia’s continuous violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and a push to bring all children back to Australia – including 28 vulnerable children on Nauru who have no parents to care for them. We can’t do this work without your help, so please support us by making a donation.
ChilOut - Children out of immigration detention · Australia
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