The children have stopped talking.
They draw images of prisons.
They call themselves by their numbers not their names.
Their bleak desolate outlook is matched by their surroundings.
These children need our help.
And yet our Government leaves them living in these circumstances.
A shocking report from the Human Rights Commission has exposed the way children living on Christmas Island view their lives.
And the standout phrase is “hell”.
The inquiry – launched on 3 February, 2014 – is seeking to investigate the ways in which life in immigration detention affects the health, well-being and development of children.
President of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs has said, “The inquiry will assess the impact on children by seeking the views of people who were previously detained as children in closed immigration detention and by assessing the current circumstances and responses of children to immigration detention.”
The first stage commenced last week with a week on Christmas Island.
Gillian Triggs told The World Today that the children there said that the place was “hell”.
“The overwhelming sense is of the enormous anxiety, depression, mental illness but particularly developmental retardation. The children are stopping talking. You can see a little girl comes up to you and she is just staring at you but won’t communicate. ”