RACP calls for release of all asylum seekers in mandatory detention

refugees welcomeAs the first group of asylum seekers fly to the United States under a resettlement deal with the U.S Government, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is calling on the Australian Government to end mandatory detention.

Up to 1,250 asylum seekers are expected to be transferred out of mandatory detention. RACP President Dr Catherine Yelland said the Australian Government needed to end its policy of indefinite mandatory detention.

“Indefinite mandatory detention takes a massive toll on the physical and mental health of asylum seekers and we are pleased that these people have been given the opportunity to rebuild their lives in the United States,” Dr Yelland said.

“We encourage the Australian Government to end its policy of mandatory detention and give asylum seekers community-based placements while their claims are assessed.”

Case studies in 'A focus on refugee health', an RACP ​news ​item published 20 ​June 2017 describe some of the issues doctors have experienced in treating asylum-seeker children.

The RACP’s Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health Position Statement sets out a strong evidence-based opposition to immigration detention, particularly of children. It has been endorsed by 14 medical colleges and peak health organisations across Australasia.
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