As the Australian government provides high level support to the 14 year old Australian boy and his family in Indonesia, could they spare a thought for the 14 year old Indonesian boys locked up in Australia who have no parents to support them. There are around 50 Indonesian teenagers under 18 currently locked up in adult prisons, secret places of detention such as Berrimah House in Darwin (part of the notorious NIDC Detention prison complex) and other isolated and some unnamed motel units across Australia.

The boys in Berrimah House were held for up to 10 months without charge on trumped up charges. Indonesian consulate staff were rebuffed when they attempted to find out what was happening to their citizens. Staff instruct callers – no one rings in here and no one rings out. We only found out about them by accident after a couple of Afghani boys were locked up there.

The two boys currently held in the annexe at the MITA are desperate to go home but are forced to stay in Australia until December to face a show trial as Australia tries to have these kids locked up for up to 10 years for people smuggling when they were employed on the boats to cook rice and do chores and had no idea about the passengers or the journey. The boys are only too willing to get work so that their families can eat. They come from one of the most impoverished areas of Indonesia. They have little or no schooling and they most certainly know nothing of Australian laws.

We can only commiserate with the Australian family in their terrible dilemma but who will commiserate over the fate of nearly 50 Indonesian boys as they spend years in Australia in prisons and detention away from their families.

KIDS ARE KIDS, Children are children whether they are Australian or Indonesian and we all have a duty to protect them from harmful and harsh imprisonment.

Indonesian Minor detention Stats compiled by Kay Bernard from DIAC Submission JSC Detention Inquiry.

Question 4 – The Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s answers questions on notice, received 10th August 2011. 


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