More than 600 children are currently detained in Australian immigration facilities (459 on the Australian mainland and 144 on Christmas Island) and 186 children are currently detained on Nauru. 413 days is the current average length of detention in Australia for adults and children.
These figures are provided by the non-profit organisation "We are better than this", that asks the Government to put an end to this form of institutional child abuse. They have authored the following "humanifesto":
"Australia does not tolerate individuals who are cruel to kids.
Australia is no longer blind to institutional child abuse. We shine light deep into the dark corners of even the most venerated and powerful institutions.
And yet, Australia locks up innocent, traumatised children without trial; indefinitely, and under a tightly woven cloak of secrecy.
Our Government has created detention centres—deterrence camps—on Christmas Island, Nauru and on our own soil. There, the treatment of children is so inhumane and the conditions so appalling that leading Australian psychiatrists and paediatricians have been moved to speak out in a voice unprecedented in their profession.
These camps contravene international human rights conventions to which Australia is signatory.
We are better than this.
This will end because it must end and we will help it end.
There are better ways."
The organisation, which comprises artists, politicians, child protection workers and other experts, has realized a song which can be purchased online to raise funds and support their cause.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the rights that must be realized for children to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. It reflects a new vision of the child. Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights. The Convention offers a vision of the child as an individual and as a member of a family and community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. By recognizing children's rights in this way, the Convention firmly sets the focus on the whole child.