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Greens invite UNHCR chief to inspect a detention centre

The Australian Greens have invited UNHCR High Commissioner, Antonio Guterres, to visit a detention centre when he's in the country this month to see conditions for himself.

"I've written to the High Commissioner explaining it is crucial he see first-hand how Australia's mandatory detention practices cause physical and mental health damage to children and adults," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Mr Bowen should visit Leonora

Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, as the legal guardian of unaccompanied children, should pay a visit to the Leonora detention centre to meet 160 children and young people who have been denied the chance to attend school, the Australian Greens said today.

"The Greens are concerned by reports that 160 children are languishing in the remote centre, away from class rooms and other vital services they need to integrate into Australian life should they be granted refugee status," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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TPVs compound refugees’ trauma and should not be brought back

Temporary protection visas (TPVs) offer no practical or long-term solution and only serve to punish very vulnerable refugees simply because they weren't lucky enough to arrive here by plane, the Australian Greens said today.

"The most damaging and cruel aspect of TPVs is they contain the constant threat that a person who has been recognised as a genuine refugee and fled danger may be returned to the source of their fear," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Greens back call for judicial inquiry into mandatory sentencing of boat crews

The Greens support the call from former NSW attorney-general, John Dowd, for a judicial inquiry into the mandatory sentences imposed on asylum seeker boat crew who are convicted of people smuggling.

"We're pleased Mr Dowd has joined an expanding number of voices who find it unacceptable that Australia's courts must give five year sentences to impoverished Indonesians," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"The federal government knows where the faults are in the Migration Act and should urgently fix them.

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Stop treating detainees with carrots and sticks

The Greens are very concerned by revelations in today's Fairfax papers that Serco is using a behaviour management plan for detainees whom the company considers are misbehaving, immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young said.

She said it is also alarming that the Immigration Department denies the document exists.

"I have asked direct questions about these methods in the immigration detention network inquiry and both the department and Serco have denied they are about punishing people," Sen. Hanson-Young said.

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Reviving TPVs - typically punishing victims

The Gillard government should resist the calls by the Coalition to reinstate the hurtful temporary protection visas which damaged many families during the Howard years, the Greens said today.

"TPVs were a major reason why the numbers of women and children on boats spiked during the Howard years, including on the SIEV X which claimed 353 lives after the government began using Nauru," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Scherger leg of immigration network inquiry hears more stories of damaged people

Members of the ongoing immigration detention network inquiry have seen and heard more graphic examples of damaged asylum seekers, this time at the Scherger detention centre in far north Queensland.

"This morning we've heard from a psychiatrist who, like other mental health experts before him, confirmed inadequate support services are available for detainees," inquiry deputy chair and Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Latest Darwin lip-sewing protest more evidence to stop indefinite mandatory detention

The latest act of self-harm by asylum seekers in Darwin again demonstrates why alternatives to indefinite mandatory detention are urgently needed, the Australian Greens said today.
"We are sadly seeing more long-term damage with Faili Kurds in Darwin sewing their lips together to protest being detained for up to 22 months," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Mental health expert confirms detention providers not following immigration department protocols

An expert advising the federal government has told an inquiry there is confusion between detention contractors and the Immigration Department about protocols for handling detainees with mental illnesses, the Australian Greens said today.

"Professor Louise Newman has confirmed what we had long suspected - that decisions and protocols made by staff in detention centres on the welfare and health of fragile detainees is not in line with best practice or well-understood medical standards," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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