Young Aussies to call for end to detention of children

CANBERRA (CathNews) — A coalition of young people is banding together to call for an end to immigration detention of children.
From September 28, young people throughout Australia will be hitting their social media networks to spread the word, reports Catholic Mission Australia in a media release.
Australian Young Christian Students Movement (AYCS) networking to thousands of students, ChilOut and their Youth Ambassadors, plus Catholic School students, will join the International Detention Coalition (IDC) and church and community organisations to launch a campaign on September 28 to “End Child Detention” in Australia.
“Detention is a problem, not a solution,” said Tessa Ganley, chairwoman of AYCS. “The youth of Australia can easily identify with what it would be like to be locked up, and they know that a country like Australia should not allow this to happen.”
The focus of the campaign is a Kony-style video that will be launched in Sydney on September 28 and passed on by young people through social media networks with a call to action.
“We will be asking our friends to tell Minister Bowen that the freedoms of children, just like me, matter. All children are vulnerable and need to be protected,” Ms Ganley added.
The newly formed Australian Coalition to End Immigration Detention of Children hopes to show that there is a massive movement of young people and adults who support the Government’s 2010 decision to move children with their families into the community.
Despite early progress, the situation has now deteriorated to a point where 686 children are detained (July 2012, Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship).
Internationally, other alternatives are being pursued. Belgium, Japan and Thailand no longer detain families.

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Michael Otto

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