A call for equality
The idea of using detention centres in the 21st Century to house those seeking asylum is barbaric in correlation with what human rights stand for.
The very essence of human rights ensures that we have are the same rights as the next person, so how and why do we have detention centres?
Refugees and asylum seekers should not be seen as a problem or used as a tool for political rhetoric. These are human beings that deserve our compassion, empathy and understanding.
Implications of detaining people at Nauru detention centre
The people that are detained are stripped of their autonomy and by way of exchange from a name to a number (boat ID), demoralising and degrading individuals, treating them like animals in captivity.
The sense of self- importance and individuality plays on one’s psychological state and opens the door to mental health related illnesses.
Social workers have reported that local Nauruan staff saw the detention centre as bride shopping expedition. This sort of environment should not be overlooked or tolerated as it condones further inhumane treatment of women in detention.
The happenings of the camp can further suggest that sexual exploitation of women and children essentially devalues the essence of human rights. Thus, the rhetoric of “stopping the boats” does not promote the right solution regarding refugees and asylum seekers arriving on our shores.
Please click on this link below for further information on this section:
Border Force Act| Whistleblowing?
This relatively new law applies to some people working in detention centres. Doctors, social workers and other government-contracted workers at onshore and offshore detention centres view this law as a gag order.
In this sense, these employees may face 2 years in gaol if they speak out (whistleblowing) or write about what they see happening at these detention centres.
This is concerning in itself and represents new avenues of Government imposed restrictions on freedom of speech.
Please click on this link below for further information on this section: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-30/detention-centre-workers-face-imprisonment-for-whistleblowing/6584392
Personal stories of people detained in Nauru
Children are the most vulnerable sector of society. However, children that are held at Nauru detention centre are in prevented from experiencing their childhood in the normal way.
There have been numerous reports regarding the alleged sexual assault of children held in detention.
For instance, 2 children aged 5 and 12 years old who were allegedly sexually assaulted face the prospect of being returned to Nauru. The 12 year old child now suffers from mental health problems after the said attack and like many other children who are in this position, at risk of regression and a turn towards self-harm and further psychological issues in the future.
Holding children in detention breaks their spirit in terms of mental anguish, potentially leading to thoughts of self-harm and suicide as their answer.
The average detention time for children stretches to 14 months and around 160 children are being held in detention by Australian authorities.
Paediatrician Hasantha Gunasekera, after her visit to Nauru, stated that young children were significantly traumatised by life and that suicide seems like their best option.
The section regarding the Border Force Act may lead to Paediatrician Hasantha Gunasekera charged and gaoled for speaking about what she saw at Nauru detention centre.
This unfortunately is the reality, it is the reality of refugees and asylum seekers and it is our reality as a society.
The pictures below have been drawn by children at Nauru detention centre, providing a clear example of the stresses and strains of growing up in detention and may reflect a deterioration of mental health.
Please click on this link below for further information on this section: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-02/boy-allegedly-raped-on-nauru-could-be-sent-back-to-detention/7132608