Asylum seekers: Many children on #Christmas_Island reportedly sick and distressed, wetting the bed, having flashbacks
The Australian Human Rights Commission says it holds “grave concerns” for the welfare of asylum seekers, particularly mothers and children, on Christmas Island.
Commission president Gillian Triggs has recounted her inspection of the centre last week as part of a national inquiry into the mandatory detention of children seeking asylum in Australia.
Professor Triggs says conditions have worsened markedly since her last visit four months ago.
Almost all of the child asylum seekers inside the Christmas Island immigration detention centre are reportedly sick and distressed, with many wetting the bed and some developing severe speech impediments and having flashbacks.
There are 1,102 asylum seekers in the centre, including 174 children, and Professor Triggs says she and her team interviewed hundreds of detainees over three days.
“Almost all of them, including the adults, were coughing, were sick, were depressed, unable to communicate, were weak,” she told AM.
“Some of them [are] not leaving their cabins, are not eating.”
The inspection coincided with the first anniversary of the starting date - July 19, 2013 - of the Government’s policy not to allow asylum seekers arriving by boat to settle in Australia.