Remove an unaccompanied 7-year old girl from a detention centre facility
  • Petitioned Chris Bowen

This petition was delivered to:

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
Chris Bowen

Remove an unaccompanied 7-year old girl from a detention centre facility

    1. Nadia Felsch
    2. Petition by

      Nadia Felsch

      Sydney, Australia

For around 9 months a seven-year old girl; along with 24 other unaccompanied children; have been locked in detention facilities. Their young and fragile lives are now experiencing their third detention centre in the past 9 months. 

These children are starved of their basic human rights and now increasingly showing signs of mental health issues. None of these children can see light at the end of the tunnel of this process and this is quite simply unacceptable. Could you envision your young child, nephew, niece, grandchild or any other little person in your world locked away without loved ones and deprived of the very things that all children should have? It seems ridiculous that this could happen. It is ridiculous.

Why are children needing to be locked up at all? What threat do they pose to anyone? How on Earth is our Government not doing everything in their power to investigate alternate and more humane methods to process these children!!!?? Instead secrecy surrounds much of the process regarding children in detention and the few and far between updates to the us, the public, seem a small blip on a large and pitiful radar. I would love to know what Chris Bowen would do should a child of his be locked up in a similar situation?!


No matter who you are, how can you say that what is happening is OK? When is it ever acceptable to lock up a small child?!


As an educated, professional, middle-class, born and raised Australian citizen; I sit within the bell curve in our country. I know all kinds of people; those who feel passionately about what is happening to asylum seekers coming to and being processed in Australia, those who know and don't care, many who think they "deserve what they get" and others who are indifferent altogether. I know you. I listen to it all and I feel strongly that most people in Australia want for good even if they do not have the faintest idea how to get there. 

It is beyond simple. Care. Listen. Learn. Say what you feel and fight for it. I am no different to anyone else and yet what happens in this country that I mostly feel so proud to be part of, is deeply shaming me in this respect. How dare our Government lock up children unaccompanied and ignore their responsibilites to provide under the Convention on the Rights of the Child! How is this even possible when indefinitely detaining children is in complete contravention of international law!! 

There are options for these children to be processed that enables them to have their human rights protected and for them to live life within our community during the asylum seeker process. I dare say 9 months is a reasonable timeframe to find suitable community detention possibilities for children; even for our bureaucratic system. Many wise and educated groups have studied the possibilities and made proposals; these people and organisations can spend their lives ensuring their recommendations are feasible and acceptable for the Australian Government, our country and asylum seekers alike. That is precisely the point; we are alike. Each of us and how I wish that this could be remembered and recalled upon at times like this. Or rather how I wish there never was a time like this!

Bottom line - there is a solution and this is not it. Try something else Mr Bowen and how about you start with releasing this 7-year old unaccompanied little girl as well as the 23 children alongside her into community detention immediately. 


Image courtesy of ChilOut, drawn by a child in detention.

Recent signatures


    1. Global campaign needs support

      Nadia Felsch
      Petition Organizer

      The International Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children is focused on Australia which is a wonderful voice to add to our cause.
      You can further assist by signing the global petition via the link below.
      Also for those in Sydney you can head along to a brilliant free event tonight @ The Council Chambers within Sydney Town Hall from 6-8pm. Discussed will the the human costs of asylum policies and there will be some wonderful speakers. For further info please visit -

    2. Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has finally responded

      Nadia Felsch
      Petition Organizer

      I am limited to 1000 words and therefore can not post the letter in its entirety though DIAC has responded; albeit weakly to this petition.
      Kate Pope - First Assistant Secretary of Community Programs and Children Division within DIAC has written to us all on behalf of Minister Chris Bowen.

      There was political fluff and an attempt to talk their department's efforts up though this excerpt below is the most key information regarding this very young girl STILL held in detention.

      "A small number of unaccompanied and accompanied minors are not eligible for community detention
      due to security, behaviour or risk requirements applying potentially to the child or accompanying
      family members.
      For privacy reasons, details of individual cases cannot be discussed."

      Nothing was said about the harsh truth that is this young girl (and a group of children in the same centre) are being held in detention centres INDEFINITELY.
      Rubbish that this is acceptable DIAC! You need to do better.

    3. Reached 2,000 signatures
    4. Time to ask for a response

      Nadia Felsch
      Petition Organizer

      Hello to my fellow human rights supporters!! We need to keep our voices loud and strong for these children in detention centres. With this overwhelming support what I can tell you is that Australia's Minister for Immigration; Chris Bowen; now has over 1700 emails telling him that YOU think this situation unacceptable.
      If you follow the below link you will see that I have asked Chris Bowen how he feels about these emails and I urge you to do the same. Ask your own questions, make your own comments.

    5. Reached 1,500 signatures
    6. 100 signatures reached! 100 people find this unacceptable!!

      Nadia Felsch
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you so much for your support of this vital petition. What we need to really see a reaction is for you to share this petition with one and all in your world. Think about groups that you are apart of and don't be afraid!

    7. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lori Montgomery STUART PARK, AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      This is absolutely appalling. As a mother - as a HUMAN - I cannot understand why these children are locked up like criminals. It's unAustralian. Whatever happened to the "fair go"? These people are not criminals and these CHILDREN deserve a better life than this.

    • Melissa May-Richards MT BARKER, AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      Children do not belong in prisons.

    • Caroline Norrington GRAY, AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      Saying a 7yo child poses a security risk beggars belief. If this is what our government truly believes, then I have no faith in their ability to process anyone fairly. It is appalling.

    • Kathleen Johnston MOSMAN, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      Basic human rights need to be upheld. Children should not be in detention. Children should definitely not be held unaccompanied and be shoved from centre to centre. This is disgraceful.

    • Lanise Edwards BONVILLE, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      This is not humanity,.Are we so comfortable in Australia that we have lost touch with the suffering of others? You cant play politics with children.


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