The 2014 Human Rights Commission Report,   “The Forgotten Children” signed off by lawyer Gillian Triggs, is an the result of an inquiry into refugee children kept in detention on Nauru, an island to Australia’s north. The findings are damning for the Australian government, left and right. Trigg’s report is currently the centre of a row which, as I write, is threatening to bring the government down. Interestingly there are a number of politicians, vocal in their criticism of the report and calling for Triggs’s resignation, who have not read the report which has been discredited by the current prime minister as too left leaning.

It is clear from the report that Triggs has consulted with many mental health professionals, including specialists in infant mental health, preschoolers, and children at all stages of life right through to early adulthood. She has drawn upon literature and research which is clear in the argument that early life experiences have an impact on later life.

Above all the question is why it should be so?

On page 19 it is stated:

Australia is the only country in the world with a policy that imposes mandatory and indefinite immigration detention on asylum seekers as a first action. While other countries detain children for matters related  to immigration, including Greece, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.; detention in these countries is not mandatory and does not occur as a matter of course.
Both the Labor and Liberal Ministers for immigration stated that detention of children had no deterrent effect for asylum seekers who elected to make the risky journey to Australia.
This is a report where the message is unwanted and certainly unsavoury. No one emerges as a hero here, except Triggs herself who has spoken the unspeakable.
You can read the entire report: “The Forgotten Children”, here.