The Australian Greens are pleased the government has changed how it tries to determine the ages of minors charged with people smuggling offences because the previous outdated method caused unnecessary anguish to detained Indonesian boys and their families.
"While these additional methods are welcome, it is saddening that it took front page news reports and demands from lawyers before the Australian government gave up on relying solely on a wrist x-ray technology which many doctors have said was outdated," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.
"We need the relevant laws to be amended to guarantee that if someone says they are a minor that should be the presumption by the authorities until they can prove otherwise.
"The Greens hope the new measures will stop minors from being put in Australian adult prisons alongside convicted criminals such as sex offenders.
"These methods should now be enshrined in legislation to guide future investigations by the Australian Federal Police into the ages of the others still detained who claim to be minors."