Children in Indonesian immigration detention 'suffer routine brutality'

2 child asylum seekers - Human rights watch
Asylum seeker children. Photograph: © 2012 Kyle Knight / Human Rights Watch
Indonesia is systemically failing refugee and asylum seeker children who seek protection within its borders, and is responsible for "routine brutality" inflicted upon minors in Indonesian immigration detention, a damning new Human Rights Watch report says.

Researchers interviewed 102 migrants in Indonesia in 2012, 42 of which were children at the time of entering the country, uncovering an immigration detention system plagued with neglect. The interviews paint a shocking picture of migrant children witnessing acts of brutality and being subject to beatings at the hands of Indonesian immigration guards.
The report documents numerous accounts of guards punching, slapping and kicking both adults and children, including one case where parents claim their children, aged four and six, were forced to watch beatings inside detention.
Speaking to Guardian Australia from Jakarta, one of the report's authors, Alice Farmer, said: "Our research has shown there is no viable life for an asylum seeker here in Indonesia and so people will go towards the boats.
"The key recommendation for the Australian government here is to recognise they need to support the development of decent policies here in Indonesia. If you give people even a little bit more of a life here, they're less likely to take those risks."
The report raises cases of brutality on unaccompanied asylum seeker children. One 15 year-old boy, housed at Balikpapan detention centre in east Kalimantan, said he was detained with unrelated adults for nearly two months. He tried to escape after 48 hours, but was caught and beaten by guards.
"That day I was beaten up very roughly," said the boy – named as Arif B in the report, "There were eight or nine people beating me, most were guards and there was one person from the outside. They hurt my shoulder, my ear, my back."
Indonesia has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, meaning that processing asylum claims falls to the UNHCR bodies in the country. The report argues that this has resulted in a "toxic limbo" for many asylum seekers in Indonesia. It says that despite Indonesia's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says all appropriate measures should be taken by signatory states to prevent any form of mental or physical violence against children or any degrading punishment, children are still ending up in detention for elongated periods of time.
Farmer added: "What we've seen in Indonesia is a 2,000% increase in the number of asylum seekers and refugees since 2008, and with that you have a government that is not very well equipped to deal with them. Children are routinely detained, and that detention also applies to unaccompanied migrant kids who by law should never be detained. The detention facilities themselves are appalling, the facilities are routinely overcrowded, but our biggest concern is that we documented quite routine brutality within the immigration detention facilities."
The report says that even when children are released from detention they receive little to no state support. "They have no legal status under Indonesian law, cannot work, and have limited access to education. Constantly vulnerable to arrest or re-arrest for violating these or other rules, refugees are reluctant to seek police protection should they become victims of crimes."
The report claims it is this abuse and lack of state provision in Indonesia that results in many refugee families and unaccompanied minors travelling to Australia to seek asylum.
UNHCR statistics released last week showed there were 1200 unaccompanied asylum seeker children in Indonesia in 2012. The Australian Immigration Department said last week there were more than 700 unaccompanied minors in the Australian immigration network.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati © 2015 - Designed by, Plugins By