Statement from the Australian Council of Heads of Schools of Social Work (ACHSSW) – 11 August 2016
Professors of Social Work from across Australia meeting in Sydney joins with the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Work Association (NCATSISWA) to applaud ABC’s Four Corners program in bringing attention to the issues in relation to young people in the Northern Territory Detention Centre (The Don Dale Centre) while incarcerated.
We add voice to all those who condemn such treatment of our youth and the fact that many in both the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments, although aware of these inhuman treatments of young people, chose to ignore or turn a ‘blind eye’ to the issues raised. This occurred despite their responsibility as their legal guardians and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Australia is a signatory to these Conventions and it is thus incumbent on us to adhere to these Conventions as part of our civic duty.
We support the establishment of an independent, comprehensive review into this and other juvenile detention centres that house our most vulnerable children. We applaud the appointment of the new panel conducting this Commission and the inclusion of an Aboriginal representative as part of this review.
We urge the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments not only to conduct this inquiry in a just, inclusive and transparent manner but to commit to implementing the recommendations that will come from such an investigation.
Contact ACHSSW Representative: Professor Carolyn Noble (ACAP)