Thursday, December 01, 2005

Breach of Petro Georgiou's backbencher agreement highlights need for real change

TO: Petro Georgiou, MP
CC: Amanda Vanstone and John Howard

Dear Petro,

The recent breach of the agreement you and other Coalition backbenchers obtained from Prime Minister Howard and Immigration Minister Vanstone on changes to immigration procedures highlights the need for real change rather than backroom deals.

The centrepiece of your immigration deal made earlier this year was that the detention of children would only occur as a last resort. However, the government has kept the infant children recently arrived from Indonesia in immigration detention.

This is a clear breach of your agreement, and shows why the Government needs to make legislative changes to prevent children from being detained.

Backroom deals have simply not stopped the detention of children, which puts Australia in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Migration Act should be amended to forbid the detention of children.

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