766 children locked up.
Many playing against razor wire.
Look around your typical suburban primary school – the equivalent of that many children.
The majority locked up for more than six months.
An appalling statistic.
And a new campaign is demanding this unjust treatment stops.
For the 766 children locked in Australia’s secure immigration detention facilities, 169 of these children are detained on Christmas Island, 193 in Nauru.
Some attend school. That’s ‘some.’
The conditions these children live in are disgraceful. They suffer mental health problems, anxiety, self harm.
If you happen to be under five there is no preschool.
According to Refugee Action Group Chilout those who live in alternative places of detention (APOD) get to go out on what are termed “regular excursions” which is aimed at combatting the boredom. This means an excursion once a week for 10 or so children to a local park. In one particular APOD there are around 80 children detained there, so each child goes to the park roughly once every two months.
We are better than this Australia.
And a campaign by prominent Australians reminding us of this is hitting out screens today. The campaign demands we remove these children from immigration detention.
Featuring high profile Australian sports stars, actors, authors and well-known media names there is one clear-cut simple message remove children from immigration detention.
“We’re better than this” says journalist Ita Buttrose and businesswoman Janet Homes a Court.
“We’re better than this” says Rachel Ward, Claudia Carvan, Deborah Mailman, Tom Keneally, Margaret Pomeranz, George Gregan and Ian Chapell.
Imogen Bailey, Marta Dusseldorp, Bryan Brown say “We’re better than this”