Submission: Mobile phones in Immigration Detention Facilities

Amnesty International has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017.

The Australian Government Migration Amendment Bill would allow the Minister to declare a mobile phone as a prohibited item for people seeking asylum and refugees in immigration detention facilities.

Amnesty International maintains that people seeking asylum and refugees in immigration detention facilities should maintain their access to mobile phones and SIM cards (and any associated necessary goods such as phone chargers or batteries). Mobile phones are needed to contact lawyers, maintain good mental health, and helps visitors keep in contact.

Blanket bans on mobile phones in immigration detention treats all detainees in the same way as high risk detainees.

The Senate Committee’s report was tabled in the Senate on 16 November 2017 and is available here.