All children could be released from Australia’s immigration detention as early as Christmas, due to legislation changes, which passed through the Senate today.
The Greens introduced a set of amendments, that would also grant greater access to detention centres for journalists and make it mandatory to report any child abuse witnessed in the facilities.
The changes also offer greater protection for whistle-blowers, to ensure that doctors and workers can reveal details about what goes on inside the centres without prosecution.
They passed with support from Labor and the cross bench, but will now need support from the Coalition if they are to pass through the House of Representatives.
“The Australian Government has failed these children and the sooner we can get them out, the better,” Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said in a statement earlier today.
“We can no longer sit idly by while these children’s lives are destroyed.”
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