*** DEBUG END ***

Dr Frier calls for release of detained children

20 February 2015


Victory: The Primate-elect of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Philip Freier (left) and the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies

Victory: The Primate-elect of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Philip Freier (left) and the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn D...

THE Australian Primate, the Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Frier, has described as "unconscionable" the conditions under which hundreds of asylum-seeker children are detained by Australia.

Responding to a devastating report by the Australian Human Rights Commission, documenting interviews with more than 1000 children, Dr Freier said that the Australian government was "an unfit parent".

"If the government were an actual parent, these children would be considered at risk, and removed from its care," he said.

He went on to say that the children and their families should be released into the community with proper care and education as a matter of priority.

His call was echoed by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, who said that "every Australian should be concerned at the plight of children in such extreme circumstances." The current system needed an overhaul.

The report found instances of assault, including sexual assault, against the children, and described their housing conditions in off-shore detention centres as appalling. The children faced long-term damage, mental-health problems, and other harms, the report said. It called for a royal commission into the matter.

The Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has, however, rejected the establishment of a royal commission, and criticised the report for being biased against his government.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available


Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)