Kiwi teen held with adults in Australian detention centre
A Kiwi teen held in an Australian adult detention facility is facing conditions no Australian youth would be subjected to, a lawyer says.
The reasons the unnamed boy was being held in detention was not clear, RNZ reported, and authorities refused to divulge the teen’s age and how long he had been held for.
The facility was up to 13 hours away from where the teen’s family lived.
“Any Australian child who goes into a detention youth justice facility would have access to visits from their family because they’ll be in a capital city or somewhere that’s not too remote – but certainly they wouldn’t be removed interstate, which is what’s happened here,” Australian Immigration lawyer Greg Barns told RNZ.
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“We don’t put children who are convicted of crimes in prison with adult prisoners and neither should any child be in an immigration detention facility with adults,” said Australian Greens politician Nick McKim.
“There is no case for a default government policy of detaining any child for any reason in Australia’s onshore immigration detention system”.
McKim told RNZ Australia was becoming “serial human rights offenders in this country, and it’s a sad day when we continue to detain children in our immigration detention system, whether that be offshore on Nauru or onshore in the Australian onshore system”.
Detaining a minor with adults was a breach of UN rights of the child, he said.