The harrowing testimonies of child sexual and physical abuse at Ashley Youth Detention Centre that are currently heard at the Tasmanian government’s Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings has shown the need for some decisive actions.
Amnesty International welcomed the Tasmanian government’s announcement last year to close the Ashley Youth Detention Centre in three years. Yesterday’s chilling evidence of child sexual assault has shown we need to act, sooner rather than later.
We are calling on the state government to:
- Consider closing the Ashley Youth Detention Centre as a matter of urgency
- Immediately release the children who are on remand and ensure adequate support is provided
- Implement Aboriginal-led, trauma-informed diversion programs for Aboriginal children and young people to address factors contributing to offending
- Ensure those directly involved in the sexual assault and those responsible for this culture of brutality towards vulnerable children are held to account
The latest allegations are part of a broader pattern of horrors that have been taking place behind the locked gates of Tasmania’s only youth detention centre for many decades.