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Australian Government Contractors Will Now Go to Jail for Reporting Child Abuse in Detention Centers

Photo by Michael Coghlan.
Photo by Michael Coghlan.
By Lauren Gillin
Last month the Australian government, with the support of the opposition, passed the Border Force Protection Act through both houses of Parliament. It will come into effect on July 1.

If the act defines you as an "entrusted person," you might be facing jail for up to two years if you reveal anything about what happens in Australia's immigration detention centers to anybody else.

An "entrusted person" is anyone working directly or indirectly for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, so that's doctors, nurses, psychologists, teachers, counsellors, security staff, maintenance workers, or anyone who has signed a government contract. This puts medical professionals and those who work with children on Nauru or Manus Island in bizarre circumstances. Outside of detention centers, they're legally obligated to report child abuse. As of July 1, they can't do the same with abuse witnessed on the inside.

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