Feb 19, 2015

Would you want the Immigration Minister as your legal guardian?

The Minister for Immigration is not acceptable as the legal guardian of unaccompanied children asylum seekers, writes Jenni Whelan, co-director UNSW Human Rights Clinic.

Last week, the Australian Human Rights Commission, in The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention report, recommended that an independent guardian be appointed for child asylum seekers who arrive in Australia without a parent or guardian, as currently the Minister for Immigration is the legal guardian of unaccompanied children.

Concerns about the unsuitability of the Immigration Minister as the guardian for unaccompanied children seeking asylum are not new; indeed, they have been raised repeatedly since the commission’s Last Resort report about children in immigration detention made the same recommendation a decade ago. The conversation needs to be fast-forwarded from whether an independent guardian is needed, to what the best model for independent guardianship in Australia would be, and how quickly it could be implemented.

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4 thoughts on “Would you want the Immigration Minister as your legal guardian?

  1. klewso

    Would you give this bloke a responsible job?
    [“…. The three little sentences that will get you through life.
    Number 1: Cover for me.
    Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss!
    Number 3: It was like that when I got here.”]

  2. drsmithy

    If a parent treated their own children as refugee children have been treated, would they be facing charges ?

  3. AR

    I wouldn’t want Dunnuttin as my septic tank cleaner, even if he offered to do orally.
    Imagine this creature in his former incarnation as a walloper in the Qld Drug Squad. Enough to give anyone the horrors, tripping or not.

  4. Marilyn Shepherd

    Yesterday a child died locked in a hot car, today a refugee girl tried to kill herself in despair of being sent back to Nauru based only on an arbitrary date stated in a frigging ad campaign.

    Will it take the deaths of refugee children here for our media and pollies to wake the hell up.

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