The Australian government yesterday rejected a report from church leaders which described its treatment of child asylum-seekers as 'State-sanctioned abuse,' reports AAP in Yahoo7.
The report by the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, a coalition of leaders from Christian churches, criticises how unaccompanied asylum-seeker children are kept in immigration detention. It also called on the Immigration Minister to step down from his position as guardian for all unaccompanied minors.
'These children are held like animals in conditions that are inhumane, interrogated without support or representation, shipped around the country and offshore in the middle of the night, and denied basic rights, including education,' the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, the Rev. Peter Catt, who chaired the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, said.
A spokeswoman for the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the allegations from the taskforce, which includes members from Anglican, Catholic, Salvation Army, Uniting Church, and other denominations, were 'shocking and offensive.'
'And the Minister rejects these categorically,' she said in a statement.
'The government takes the protection of children very seriously and is committed to ensuring they are protected from exploitation and abuse.'
Lanterns burn for city's refugees, asylum seekers (The Chronicle)