House of Representatives Committees

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Completed Inquiry: Visits to immigration detention centres

List of Recommendations

Chapter 4    Detention centres: an overview

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Australasian Correctional Management Pty Ltd:

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs negotiate agreements with State and Territory Governments and non-government schools to enable children in detention centres to gain access to nearby schools:

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that, together with English language lessons, detainees be strongly encouraged to participate in classes about life in Australia.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Australasian Correctional Management Pty Ltd review the Occupational Health and Safety issues involved in the work done by detainees at detention centres.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that the points system for work carried out by detainees at the centres be reviewed to ensure that, as far as practicable, there is consistency in the allocation of points where similar work is undertaken at the various centres.

Chapter 5    Processing and related issues

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider the establishment of a reserve list of Members to assist the Refugee Review Tribunal at times of peak workload.

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that the current informal arrangement, whereby the Refugee Review Tribunal can draw attention to humanitarian issues in the case of an asylum seeker, should be formalised by an amendment to s. 417 of the Migration Act 1958 so that these issues are formally included in the Minister's consideration of such cases.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation develop an appropriate risk profile to assist the early release into the Australian community of asylum seekers.

Recommendation 9

The Committee supports the proposed trial of facilities for women and children in towns, with access to nearby detention centres.

Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends that for asylum seekers who have received security clearances:

Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends that all detainees are given appointments on a regular basis with their case officers to update the detainees on the precise current status of their applications for protection.

Recommendation 12

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs negotiate with appropriate community groups to examine the feasibility of developing a sponsorship scheme for detainees who have not been processed within the time limit against which the Department is funded, currently 14 weeks, and who have received a security clearance.

Recommendation 13

The Committee recommends that, wherever possible, blocks within detention centres be designated for the exclusive use of families.

Recommendation 14

The Committee recommends that appropriate community organisations, including religious and welfare groups, be given greater access to the detention centres after detainees have met initial processing requirements.

Recommendation 15

The Committee recommends that, as a matter of urgency, the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs negotiate Memoranda of Understanding with relevant States and Territories about the detention of asylum seekers in their jails.

Recommendation 16

The Committee recommends that the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs consider the establishment of a higher security facility, either within an existing centre or as a new facility, for the housing of a particular group of detainees that could include those who have been:

Chapter 6    ACM's treatment of detainees

Recommendation 17

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs hold discussions with Australasian Correctional Management Pty Ltd, with a view:

Recommendation 18

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs undertake, as a matter of urgency, a review of the Immigration Detention Standards and include the revised document in its contractual negotiations with Australian Correctional Management Pty Ltd.

Recommendation 19

The Committee recommends that the visual checks of detainees, including waking them during the night to establish their identity, should cease except where special security concerns exist.

Chapter 7    The effects of detention

Recommendation 20

The Committee recommends that a review be carried out by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Australian Correctional Management Pty Ltd into the adequacy of psychological services provided to detainees.

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