Fears for asylum children held in Darwin detention

Refugee advocates have asked the Northern Territory Child Protection Department to investigate whether a group of Vietnamese asylum seeker children are at risk of harm in detention.

Under Northern Territory law, any child at risk must be reported to the Child Protection Department.

Darwin Asylum Seeker Support Network spokesman Rohan Thwaites says the Department must investigate whether the 24 unaccompanied Vietnamese asylum seeker children are at risk of mental and physical harm because of their detention in Darwin.

"There are a number of children in Darwin who in the past have attempted self-harm," he said.

He says the Child Protection Department asked for more information before it could investigate.

The Department says it will investigate any child at risk which meets its threshold of harm, including immigration detainees.

The Immigration Minister's spokesman says the Government is working to get 500 remaining children out of detention.

Mr Thwaites says he is pleased an investigation may be considered.

"There are obligations to report in the Northern Territory when children are believed to be at risk of harm, both psychological and emotional harm," he said.abc.net.au
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