Federal

Apr 24, 2012

‘Our lives are very sad’: a girl, 10, in detention makes her plea

A 10-year-old Vietnamese girl, who has spent a year living in detention centres across the country as an unaccompanied minor, calls her life in a detention centre in Darwin "very sad, depressing and hopeless", in a note passed to a community visitor this week.

Amber Jamieson — Freelance journalist in New York

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

A 10-year-old Vietnamese girl, who has spent a year living in detention centres across the country as an unaccompanied minor, calls her life in a detention centre in Darwin "very sad, depressing and hopeless", in a note passed to a community visitor this week.

The note, given to a community visitor volunteer from the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network, translates as follows:

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18 comments

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18 thoughts on “‘Our lives are very sad’: a girl, 10, in detention makes her plea

  1. Robert Barwick

    What planet are we on when we call the people imprisoned in detention centres “clients”?

  2. paddy

    I’m speechless….
    Quite the most depressing thing I’ve read all week.

  3. Meski

    … Waits for the conga-line of people who will brazenly justify doing this to a ten year old. Come on, I know you’re out there, ready to spruik your hate-filled bile.

  4. Tom

    On the eve of ANZAC day when flags will be waved and we’ll all collectively pat one another on the back about the good we did in the past ….. I’ll be asking who gave their lives so that point scoring gutless nitwits could race without any trace a shame toward such a totally disgusting situation? I’ll shed an extra tear tomorrow, not of grief but of shame and despair.

  5. shepherdmarilyn

    All those parents in parliament and still we come down to this because the fucking racist savages never learn.

  6. zut alors

    And keep in mind that all our major political parties (with the exception of the Greens) believe this is acceptable.

  7. shepherdmarilyn

    Yes and Rob Oakeshott says that because 148 of the 150 MHR’s think we should break the law and push them away to Iraq or somewhere other than here that we should do it.

    too bad about the people involved.

  8. monty

    Calling these desperate souls “clients” allows the maladministrators of this appalling system to rest well knowing that they have provided a ‘service’ thus achieving their KPI’s. It smacks of the same vile, management behaviour displayed by many in the business community – (refer to this morning’s superb rant from Mr Bernard Keane.)

  9. Clytie

    So, in addition to imprisoning adults who have not broken the law (asylum seekers), we’re imprisoning children? These Vietnamese kids already escaped a totalitarian regime: they don’t need another one masquerading as a democracy.

    I speak Vietnamese, and I know the community very well. “This cohort” doesn’t disappear into hiding places (escape detention) unless they are clearly threatened. Some of this threat could come from greedy people intimidating their families. Look for those with the most money, not the least. As in all communities, a small number of unprincipled people do a lot of damage.

    These kids could quite safely be supported in the community, as long as adequate supervision and information was provided. They need to know that it’s against the law for anyone to hurt or exploit them, and that they can trust the police and support services to help them.

    I would recommend placing these kids in rural towns, especially those with a small local Vietnamese population. Supervise contact by others (especially online), and get the kids involved in school and other community opportunities. Vietnamese kids love to study, and they need a direct purpose.

    Dammit, I’d take that little girl in myself, if I weren’t too crook to be useful. She’d fit right into our family and the local community. (It’s times like these that I hate this disease the most. 🙁 )

    Any child deserves better than being imprisoned and isolated. Why aren’t we doing more for these kids?

  10. kennethrobinson2

    It took me a few hours to cool down after reading about this girl, as a Vietnan Veteran, I have seen many horrible things happen, 43 years ago, but this is happening now in what was a great country, the only thing that I can say is lets keep thr refugees, and deport the POLITICAL SCUM that are letting this happen, put them on a leaky boat to nowhere.
    My family has the medals from my war, being on the wrong side, and actually believing the crap that we were told, leaves me deeply shamed, its no use trying to shame Gillard Abbott and co, they have no morality and are beyond human feeling, I just cant believe how low our political people have sunk to, but if one looks at whats going on in parliament at the moment, anythings possible.

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