Statement from The College of Psychiatrists

(Twitter: Nick Mckim)

With events on Manus Island continuing to evolve. The following statement this year from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is more relevant than ever.

Quotes of some of the key messages from this statement:

  • Prolonged and indefinite detention violates the rights of asylum seekers and refugees to liberty and freedom from cruel and degrading treatment, as well as their rights to seek asylum without punishment on account of their method of entry into a territory.

  • Certain high-risk groups should not be detained in immigration detention facilities, including children, pregnant women, people with mental illness/disability, and survivors of torture and traumatic experiences.

  • If people must be held in immigration detention facilities, they should be held for the shortest possible period to enable health, security and identity checks.

  • Detention facilities should be located in onshore areas with good access to high-quality mental health, trauma and physical health services and facilities, and not in remote or offshore locations.

  • Immigration detention should not be used coercively, as a punishment or for deterrence.

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