Refugee group 'obstructed' on visit to detention centre

A children's refugee advocacy group says the Department of Immigration has been deliberately obstructive during its visit to the Leonora Detention Centre in remote Western Australia.
A representative from ChilOut travelled to WA to scrutinise the detention centre, which holds about 140 unaccompanied male teenagers.

The trip is the beginning of a month-long international campaign, 'End the Immigration Detention of Children', which is protesting against the Federal Government's treatment of child asylum seekers.
Campaign director Sophie Peer has spent three days visiting the boys.
She says she was promised "unmonitored, one-on-one" access to the boys, but that has not happened.
"It's the type of questions I can't ask in front of a guard and can't ask in front of a group of boys, that I would be able to ask in a more relaxed setting," she said.
"You can't start asking about people's families. You can't start asking how you are actually feeling. That's just not appropriate in a group setting, with a bunch of teenage boys of any culture and particularly of the Afghan culture."
Ms Peer says the teenagers are frustrated, bored and sad, and that one boy she met has been in the centre for four months.
"That boy was noticeably distressed. His comments to me were things like 'I see boys come and go,'" she said.
"He's quite right, because the average time in Leonora is more like two to three months. So I don't know why he's there longer and I will follow that up."
A spokesman from the Immigration Department says it aims to move people out of Leonora and into community detention within a month or so, but it may take longer than that to assess individual claims.
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