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DETENTION CENTRES IN AUSTRALIA
Australia is the only developed nation to have a policy of mandatory, non-reviewable detention of refugees arriving over its borders. Many countries detain people for a short period if they come without documentation but then release them into the community while they are being processed.

Some asylum seekers are incarcerated in Australian detention centres for years. It is widely believed that a system which leads to the prolonged and arbitrary imprisonment of people fleeing human rights violations in their own country is in violation of the Australian Government’s commitment to international human rights agreements.

It is believed that there are over 1500 asylum seekers being held in Australian immigration detention centres as of 2004.

It is almost impossible to obtain accurate figures for the numbers of asylum seekers being held in detention centres in Nauru, Manus Island and Christmas and Cocos Islands as part of the Government’s "Pacific Solution". It is known that there were over 275 children held in these off shore centres in september 2002.

"It was detention… it was like a prison, only there were men, women and children, all together… and all the people were scared, and instead of being criminals, many of the people in there were the victims… [We were treated] like criminals. We were in a prison, so I guess they had to treat us like criminals. But we should not have been there. Nobody told us one single word about what was going to happen to us." (Denya)

Detention centres are often isolated, located away from media and public scrutiny. Detention is costly politically, socially and economically as well as in human terms.

Staff at these 'Refugee Prisons' reserve the right to handcuff, sedate and place in solitary confinement those in detention.

Click Here for Australian Prisons

RELATED INFORMATION, EXPERIENCES AND LINKS
DETENTION CENTRE EXPERIENCES
  • The experiences of women in Australian immigration detention
  • Report of Life in Baxter from an eyewitness
  • A first-hand account of Life inside Maribyrnong refugee detention centre
  • The Story of one mans experiences in the Perth Detention Centre

    DETENTION CENTRE NEWS ARTICLES

  • Refugees rename Baxter camp 'Abu Ghraib'
  • Canberra set to shut Port Hedland
  • How Australia treats Innocent People: Some Detainees' Accounts
  • About Woomera - ABC Interview
  • Port Hedland Detention Centre: Carmen's eye witness report
  • Staff expose inhuman conditions at Woomera Detention Centre
  • Woomera Protest Turns Nasty!
  • Australia's detention centre in the desert
  • `Bloody Friday' in Villawood detention centre

    DETENTION CENTRE WEBSITES

  • Children Out of Detention (Australia)
    Campaign against the imprisonment of children seeking asylum in Australian detention centres, where detention of all asylum seekers is mandatory.
  • Inside Port Hedland
    Campaign against the detention centre at Port Hedland, Western Australia.
  • BaxterWatch
    Campaign against Baxter detention centre near Port Augusta, South Australia.
  • Maribyrnong Detention Centre Watch
    Campaign against Maribyrnong detention centre in Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Nauru Refugees
    Campaign against the Australian government's "Pacific solution", under which refugees seeking asylum in Australia are detained in the remote island state of Nauru.
  • Desert Storm
    Reflections and analysis on the Woomera 2002 protests in Australia, of which a detention centre was a major focus.

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    All information is © Copyright 1997 - 2003 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff
    All information is © Copyright 1997 - 2003 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff