Australian PM announces to release children from detention centers

20:16, October 18, 2010      

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday announced a new strategy for dealing with overcrowding asylum seekers in Australia, including a move to release children from detention.

Under the changes, the government will partner with community organizations to transfer unaccompanied minors, children and families, who are awaiting decisions, into community-based accommodation.

The government will also open two new detention facilities, which can accommodate almost 2,000 people, to house an increasing number of asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia.

According to Gillard, the announcement delivers on a commitment to balance the government's policy of mandatory detention of unauthorized arrivals, with the humane treatment of those fleeing persecution.

"This is especially important for children, for whom protracted detention can have negative impacts on their development and mental health," she told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

The move came as Australian Greens last week announced it will move to amend immigration laws to free more than 700 children and their families from detention.

According to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, the department would move more children and families into community facilities run by churches and charities under departmental supervision.


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(Editor:张茜)

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