Detention Centre Medical Workers to be Jailed for Speaking Out

By Sharon Smith
Tuesday, 30 June, 2015

Today The Guardian Australia published a piece reporting on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s new legislation and the gag order it, in effect, places on the terrible conditions medical staff are witness to in Australia’s detention centres. This legislation is the Border Force Act and comes into effect from tomorrow 1 July.
Quoting from The Guardian:
Under this legislation it is a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment, for anyone who works in, or has previously worked in immigration detention to “make a record of or disclose” information regarding their employment.
Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs’ Forgotten Children report in 2014 detailed examples of housing conditions leading directly to poor health outcomes (for children who are already suffering from ill health to begin with); instances of violent physical and sexual abuse of mothers in front of their children and to children themselves; children suffering mental health issues and self-harm as well as compounding developmental, emotional and psychological disress.
Today’s Guardian Australia article confirms this and more - that the adults are suffering as much as the children, and healthcare workers are expected to pick up the pieces without clear direction. Medical workers cannot be expected to care for residents who are not being supplied with adequate facilities to be well or frankly, an environment that makes them feel like human beings. Counsellors are performing more than ‘just counselling’ and are torn between their patients’ wellbeing and wanting to change a system that doesn’t want to be changed.

And rather than fixing the situation the Government has decided to silence anyone who dares speak out on it.

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