Barbaric Australian treatment of refugees causing child suicide attempts and hundreds of hunger strikers

children in refugee camp

Australia’s barbaric treatment of asylum seekers is causing children to attempt suicide and has triggered a hunger strike by 350 asylum seekers in a tent city prison on an island. More than 30 lay unconscious after three days of fasting in blazing heat. They describe conditions at the detention centre as "hell" and that they fear some will not make it through the ordeal. They describe treatment towards them by many of the camp's personnel as dismissive, indifferent, coercive, without empathy.

On 1 November yet another young asylum seeker attempted suicide at Darwin Airport Lodge, as did a child, two weeks ago. Suicide attempts and self-harm are rife in Australia’s refugee concentration camps as people grow anxious about being sent to independent Nauru island and Papua-New Guinea’s Manus Island:

Detention facilities are bursting at the seams with families, children and heavily pregnant mothers flown in from Australia’s Christmas Island. The situation is a tinderbox.

Children are seeing many people with bandages around their necks and wrists. Blood is splattered on walls from people cutting themselves.

Ms Leila Druery, a spokesperson for the Children out of Immigration Detention (ChilOut) refugee support organisation, states, ‘These children are seeing things no child – or adult for that matter – should ever see. We fear that they’ll see acts of self-harm and suicide attempts and think that’s an option for them.’

Two weeks ago a 17-year-old boy cut his throat in an attempt at suicide.

Gerry Georgatos, refugee support activist says, 'Communications from within Darwin Airport Lodge describe horrific circumstances …

"Young children are among the most vulnerable. If they languish in prison-like detention … their despair leads to multiple trauma and for some to suicide. Children are attempting suicide in great numbers."

If you want to know more about this horrifying human rights outrage, follow it on Australian IndyMedia:

Australia has just been voted into a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council although it is repeatedly criticised by UN bodies for flouting UN refugee and other human rights covenants it has signed up to. Critics charge that Australia bought the votes of needy countries with aid.