AMA Forum: The Health Care of Asylum Seekers and the Harms caused by Immigration Detention, especially for Children

8 Feb 2016

AMA Forum:

The Health Care of Asylum Seekers and the Harms caused by Immigration Detention, especially for Children

Being locked up indefinitely in isolated detention is a form of abuse.

It is wrong to leave people seeking asylum in indefinite detention facilities that lack proper health care, and where they are exposed to physical, sexual, and emotional trauma.

The current Government’s policy, supported by the Federal Opposition, poses significant risks to the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers, especially children. As an organisation representing medical practitioners, we are compelled to advocate for an urgent change in policy.

All asylum seekers and refugees, independent of their citizenship or visa status, should have universal access to basic health care.  This is clearly not happening.

All children being held in immigration detention facilities should be immediately released to a safe environment.  This is a matter of human decency and human rights.  Regardless of the High Court decision, there is absolutely no reason why children should continue to be held in detention facilities. 

Children in detention are being harmed.  Detention has long-term consequences on their psychological, physical, and emotional health.  This is morally and ethically unacceptable.  Infants and children must be removed from immigration detention.

Alongside Professor Owler, other invited speakers at the Forum include:

  • Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM, Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, Consultant Paediatrician Children’s Hospital at Westmead

  • Professor David Isaacs, Clinical Professor, Paediatrics and Child Health, Children’s Hospital at Westmead
  • Ms Alanna Maycock, Paediatric Nurse, Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Date:          Sunday, 21st February 2016

Venue:        Ionic Room, SMC Conference and Function Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney

Time:          11:00am – 1:00pm

RSVP:         By COB Thursday, 18th February 2016 to amaforum@ama.com.au