TARGET: Australia Immigration Minister Scott Morrison
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help us get to 10,000
by July 8, 2015
When people flee to Australia seeking asylum, they're not coming to take away jobs or steal from the government. They're literally running for their lives. Yet Australia is the only country to detain asylum-seekers for long periods of time -- and all refugees, especially children, are suffering immensely.
The average length of time that children seeking asylum spend in detention is 238 days. That's more than half a year crammed in what basically amounts to a shipping container with their entire families, with inadequate schooling and surrounded by adults that are so traumatised they can't even do a puzzle or read with them. These children should be learning how to add and subtract or exercising their imaginations; instead, their playground is sharp coral, and the first word some of them learn is "guard." Is it any wonder that rates of self-harm and suicide among children are dramatically higher in detention?
As if the psychological hardship weren't bad enough, kids seeking asylum often receive little, if any, medical care. Routine screenings for tuberculosis are basically nonexistent, for example, even though infection rates are as high as 55 percent at some centres.
This is not how we treat children. This is not how we treat anyone. We cannot allow this systematic abuse of asylum-seekers to continue.
Tell Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to stop the detention of children immediately!
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