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Issues of Children in Detention

Discuiss about the Impact Of Immigration Detention On Children. 

In many developed countries Like Australia and UK, a policy of Immigrant detention is prevalent which includes detention of individual who are suspected of illegal entry, visa violations or unauthorized arrival. Those individuals are detained for a prolonged amount of time until the immigration authorities decide to grant visa and release them to their respective community. In this report, various issues related to detention of children and possible ways to solve the issues with the help of Catholic Social Teaching principles has been discussed. Considering the fact that detention or confinement for a prolonged amount of time does hinders both the psychological and physical development of a child, it has been concluded that detention of children should be irradiated. 

There are a vast majority of students that are subjected to the detention centers of the Australia and almost the 90 % of the students that are in the detention centers are the refugees seeking care in the detention centers. These children are retained in the refugee detention centers until they have been claim of refuge, and hence are subjected to the suffering of living conditions that are specifically below the normal standards. According to the recent statistics shared by the immigrant maternal and child health convention of Australia, the detention centers have a significant detrimental impact on the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of the residents. Along with that, in many of the reports it has been also been stated that the traumatic experiences faced by the children in the detention centers are the major reason behind the residual distress on their mental sanity (Massaro, 2015).

According to the most of the research, the hardships driven environment of the detention centers and the below standards living conditions also facilitate psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, withdrawal symptoms, and self- destructive disorders. On a more elaborative note, the statistics state that among the children living in the detention centers, 77% have been reported to be dealing with symptoms of anxiety, 86% have been reported to be dealing with depression and most alarmingly, almost half of the detention center resident children have been reported to show early symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

The most important fact is the lack of basic resources and necessary treatment for the children, it has been reported frequently that the detention center resident refugee children are going through varied levels of malnutrition, and eventually they go through developmental disorders and various other complications. Elaborating more on the treatment needs that these children are denied, many of the detention stuck children have been reported with vision disabilities, speech disabilities, and lack of self stimulation in the detention centers (Jureidini & Burnside, 2011).

Recommendations to solve the issues

Coming to the abuse and neglect, many of the authors have stated that the children in detention have developed the physical and mental distresses not just due to the lack of basic resources. The trauma of the abuse and neglect that the children face in the detention centers impart a severe negative impact that retains even after the years of stay in the detention centers are passed. Hence, it can be safely concluded that the experience of the stay in the detention centers impart an effect that alters the developmental progress of the children and the chance of leading a healthy life, hence there is need for interventions on a massive scale (Coffey et al., 2010).

It has to be mentioned that the rate of children living in the detention centres in Australia is higher than any other country due to the long- standing practice of Australia of detaining the children in that enter the Australian ground by the means of unauthorized access. However, despite the reforms and policies attempting to improve the living conditions of children in the detention centres, still the lack of basic resources like food, treatment, psychological aid and even the lack of parental support affect the children, their overall health and developmental pace. The lack of proper nutrition and resources contribute to the extreme lack of sense safety and security in the children that live in the detention centres, the basic integrity of living is hampered of the children (Brown et al., 2013).

According to the principles of the catholic social teaching or CST, there are four key pillars, human dignity, the common good, solidarity and subsidiarity. The principle of human dignity states that the sacredness of human life can only be respected when each and every individual has the right to inherent dignity and worth in the living. And on the other hand, the principles of common good states that each individual of the community or group holds equal responsibility for the welfare for the others, and every individual is expected to advocate for the rights and needs for all the members of the community and the society in general. Now it can be mentioned in this context that in case of the children in the detention centers these two basic principles of catholic social thought has been violated significantly as the children are neither living with dignity nor have any decisive abilities over their living conditions.

Conclusion

As recommendations, the first and foremost action that needs to be taken includes protecting the basic human rights of this children; and a few steps have already been taken by the Australian immigration control centre and the Australian catholic social justice council. The basic reform needs that have been identified include the need for ending the mandatory detention of any children with unauthorized access, the proposed alternative supportive policies will focus on fostering out these children as early as possible so that the children need to spend as little time as possible in the detention centre environment (Hodes, 2010).

However, it has to be mentioned that there is need for better advocating the various needs of such children. For instance, three of the very basic needs that have been identified for such children is the lack of basic resources like food, treatment and support, educational needs and along with the physical and mental abuse coupled with the neglect that these children are facing (Kronick, Rousseau & Cleveland, 2011). There is need for human rights agencies and communities to come forward and advocate the need for better nutrition and food resources for the children. Along with that, the children stuck in the coastal detention centres of Australia rarely get any modes of education for themselves and have no clear idea regarding their own civil rights. Hence, there is need for educational seminars and workshops arranged for these children so that they can get the chance to understand their own rights and can therefore fight for these rights. Lastly, according to the principles of the CST, each human being has a right to a dignified existence, and the physical and mental abuses to the children in the detention centres violate the basic human dignity effectively (Barrett & Baker, 2012). Another recommendation that can put an end to the abuse is a little infrastructure up- gradation of the detention homes for enhancing safety of children and other residents. Such as surveillance, system and cameras in the detention centres can monitor the living condition of the children and can reduce the consequences of abuse. Lastly the need for community action is extremely important, only government action without active not for profit community engagement would not be able to improve the present predicament. In addition, it can be hoped that with active advocacy from the community itself for the rights of the these children, the situation can be improved (Farmer, 2013).

Conclusion

From the above report, it can be concluded that since child detention is imposing hazardous and long-term effect on children, this practice should be stopped as soon as possible. Effective measures should be taken to improve the lives of children who are residing in the detention centers. People should be educated about the evil effects of child detention and thus promotion of common good should be done with the association of CST. Effective measures should be taken to irradiate the suffering of children who are being detained for a prolonged amount of time without any proper reason. Considering the negative effect of child detention, the government should impose new policies to irradiate this practice and implement an alternative way, which will serve the common good. 

Reference List

Barrett, M. S., & Baker, J. S. (2012). Developing learning identities in and through music: A case study of the outcomes of a music programme in an Australian juvenile detention centre. International Journal of Music Education, 30(3), 244-259.

Brown, H. E., Pearson, N., Braithwaite, R. E., Brown, W. J., & Biddle, S. J. (2013). Physical activity interventions and depression in children and adolescents. Sports medicine, 43(3), 195-206.

Coffey, G. J., Kaplan, I., Sampson, R. C., & Tucci, M. M. (2010). The meaning and mental health consequences of long-term immigration detention for people seeking asylum. Social science & medicine, 70(12), 2070-2079.

Farmer, A. (2013). The impact of immigration detention on children. Forced Migration Review, (44), 14.

Heyer, K. E. (2012). Reframing Displacement and Membership: Ethics of Migration. Theological Studies, 73(1), 188-206.

Hodes, M. (2010). The mental health of detained asylum seeking children. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 19(7), 621-623.

Isaacs, D. (2015). Nauru and detention of children. Journal of paediatrics and child health, 51(4), 353-354.

Jureidini, J., & Burnside, J. (2011). Children in immigration detention: a case of reckless mistreatment. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 35(4), 304-306.

Kronick, R., Rousseau, C., & Cleveland, J. (2011). Mandatory detention of refugee children: A public health issue?. Paediatrics & child health, 16(8), e65-e67.

Massaro, T. (2015). Living justice: Catholic social teaching in action. Rowman & Littlefield.

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