In January of this year, Tasmania Police conducted a drug raid in a suburban house in Hobart.
During the raid, the police strip searched a 12 year old girl. For reasons that have not been explained, they then proceeded to strip-search the girl a second time.
Strip searches are incredibly traumatic, invasive and humiliating by their nature. But disturbingly, the police review found that there was no unlawful action on the part of the officers.
In Tasmania, current laws allow police to strip search children at their discretion. Nothing requires them to seek an order from a court, and there is no limit on the circumstances where such invasive methods can be used.
The law is a breach of children’s fundamental rights.
We urge the Tasmanian Government to make changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act in Tasmania, so that the strip-searching of a child between the ages of 10 and 18 can only be carried out if police have secured a court order, and if the circumstances are so grave that no less intrusive alternative is available.
This situation is unacceptable. Please sign and help ensure that children are protected from traumatic and humiliating strip searches in all but the most extreme cases.