National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention

The Australian Human Rights Commissioner has launched a National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, Occupational Opportunities for Refugees & Asylum Seekers (OOFRAS) Inc will make a submission, and you’re invited to participate.

Here is the link to join the Friday Forum May the 2nd 7pm Brisbane time.

The purpose of the inquiry is to investigate the ways in which life in immigration detention affects the health, well-being and development of children. An Australian occupational therapist on Manus Island reflects:

“. . . Immigration detention is all pervasive.  There is not one single aspect of a human's being that is not affected by detention, that is left untouched.  Having worked with the same people for extended periods of time, I have seen how this system breaks people down before your very eyes.  As we all know, we are occupational beings.  Participating in meaningful activities is an innate human right.  It's what makes us feel like valid human beings.  Denying people the right to participate in those life roles that validate who they are is, without a doubt, detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Yet despite the multitude of challenges in detention centres that act to prevent people's participation, some manage to find a way. . .”

OOFRAS is inviting all Australian occupational therapists (OTs) interested in detention, those who have worked in detention, visited people in detention, volunteered in detention centres, provided OT services to detention centres, and who have worked with those affected by immigration detention experiences to contribute to the submission at an online Friday Forum 2nd May.

Forum participants will review the submission draft, respond to prompt questions to contribute information to the submission, and learn from interviews and Q&A with OTs who have worked and volunteered with asylum seekers in detention in Australia and the Pacific. Professional learning, participation in the Forum, and those serving on the reference group will be acknowledged.

Friday Forum Flyer

Read the Australian Human Rights Commission discussion paper  

Explore the text and images in our Inquiry Facebook Album

RSVP and share the Forum to invite your colleagues

Submit information or a question in advance by emailing us 

Invitation to the Friday Forum

The political use of occupational deprivation is unacceptable

Occupational therapists concerned about the harm to health, human rights, and humane society caused by occupational deprivation of asylum seekers for "deterrence" of asylum seekers don't need to wait until the Friday Forum 2nd May to express dissent with the protracted occupational deprivation. Professional concerns can be registered and will be loaded as a pin on a Google Map of dissenting OTs. You can also explore your colleague's contributions on the Dissent Map, which has been viewed more than 7 500 times.  

Indefinite detention is incompatible with OT ethics

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