Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Turning a blind eye to child abuse

The latest vileness to emerge from the Australian Senate's inquiry into immigration detention? Immigration Minister Scott Morrison turned a blind eye to child abuse in his gulags:

Scott Morrison was made aware in December 2013 of serious allegations of sexual abuse at Australia’s detention centre on Nauru, almost a year before a full review into allegations was commissioned, a Senate inquiry has heard.

A committee in Canberra is currently investigating serious allegations of sexual assault at the Nauru detention centre. The inquiry has heard evidence that the immigration department regularly interfered with medical assessments on Nauru and asked medical staff to change reports.

The committee heard from two former Save the Children child protection workers on Tuesday, Viktoria Vibhakar and Kirsty Diallo, who both raised significant concerns about the process for reporting and mitigating risks surrounding sexual assaults at the Nauru centre.

In relation to one serious sexual assault by a cleaner against an asylum seeker in November 2013, Diallo said the then immigration minister Scott Morrison was made personally aware of the allegations as well as in an incident report from the service providers on the island.

And he did nothing. Because hey, who cares if children are being raped? They're only refugees.

This is not an acceptable attitude in a Minister responsible for people's welfare. The good news is that he's no longer Minister for Immigration. The bad news is that he's now Minister for Social Services. I wonder if he'll bring those same toxic attitudes to the treatment of Australian children in the care of his department?

Also today: the Immigration Department admitted that it knew its contractors had spied on an Australian Senator. Supposedly, they disapprove. In which case, why are Wilson Security still contractors? They should have been fired immediately.