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Courts should remove Chris Bowen's Guardianship status

Courts should remove Chris Bowen's Guardianship status

August 5, 2011

"The fact that the 'arrangement' between Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Malaysia to 'remove' asylum seekers to that country has no legal standing or legal power should be a serious enough reason for the Family Court to instruct the Federal Court to remove his legal Guardianship for children of asylum seekers," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.

"As always suspected, the Minister is unable to legally guarantee any form of protection for children - or for that matter, adults - under his arrangements with Malaysia, and this makes him liable for many future court actions, including class actions, by those children or their representatives, in an Australian court. Simply speaking, for the children and unaccompanied minors the Minister is an "unfit parent" who cannot absolutely guarantee that the children he intends to deport to Malaysia will not be tortured, abused, raped, subjected to extortion or taken into slavery conditions by individuals or rackets in Malaysia who seek to exploit them in their workplaces in child labor conditions representing slavery," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"Not only is this of extreme concern, the Minister's parenting role as the official guardian for the minors also cannot guarantee that they will be - as agreed under the world's most basic human rights charters, receive an education environment. While the Minister has been selling his spin about "education", closer scrutiny confirms that they do NOT have access to Malaysia's education system, but that refugee and human rights organisation are allowed to arrange some form of amateur teaching of the type exemplified in the recent SBS Television series 'Go Back to Where You Came From', where 'education' is similar to keeping children occupied in mouldy warehouses, singing with them and playing with them, not in a structured learning environment, but in a volunteering project by organisations that make the ghastly living circumstances for asylum seekers more bearable in Malaysia."

"The Minister will be an abusing parent, who fails to protect his children, if he has the ghoulish determination to send his own children into the hellish environment of Malaysia. The 19 children, under the Migration Act, ARE his children, under the guardianship concept as defined under law in Australia. He is an unfit parent, and he should be stripped off his guardianship".

For more information, visit www.safecom.org.au/

ENDS

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