Submission: Independent Review of Youth Detention in Queensland

Amnesty International welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Independent Review of Youth Detention in Queensland.

On 31 August 2016, Amnesty released a report called Heads Held High: Keeping Queensland kids out of detention, strong in culture and community. The report raises serious concerns about potential abuses of human rights of children in Queensland youth detention.

Further reports obtained by Amnesty from inspection by the DJAG Ethical Standard Unit of the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre in Townsville and Brisbane Youth Detention Centre between 2010 – 2015 also highlighted potential abuses of human rights of children. The abuses include potential unnecessary and excessive use of force in these facilities, and other control and resistant measures such as handcuffs, docs, and invasive search practices that may amount to torture or other ill-treatment. The reports also showed high rates of children self harming in these facilities.

This review is an important opportunity to further investigate this evidence. The review is a critical step towards ensuring children are protected and treated in accordance with their rights in the Queensland youth justice system. Importantly, the review is crucial for addressing issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Queensland.

Read the full submission and recommendations here.