The Untold Story of Parents in
Issued Sunday 16 June 2002
ŠThe Royal Australian and New Zealand
College of Psychiatrists
Immigration detention profoundly undermines the parental role,
rendering parents powerless and unable to provide adequately for their
children's physical and emotional needs, child and adolescent
psychiatrists said today.
"Parental depression and despair leave children without
protection in an already terrifying and unpredictable place,"
according to the authors of a study published today in Australasian
Psychiatry (a journal of The Royal Australian and New Zealand
College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)).
"Children are at high risk of emotional trauma since parents are
unable to provide for them adequately or to shield them from further
humiliation and acts of violence in a degrading, hostile and hopeless
environment," the authors concluded.
"Families arriving to seek asylum in Australia have already
experienced displacement, loss and, frequently, exposure to violence and
war in their countries of origin.
"They are vulnerable, desperate and poor, with few material or
The Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the RANZCP opposes
the detention of children and has called for the immediate release of
children and their primary care-givers into appropriate community care.
The article, Seeking
refuge, losing hope: parents and children in immigration detention,
is published today in Australasian Psychiatry. It documents
interviews with families in Australian immigration detention centres
conducted between December 2001 and March 2002.
Dr Louise Newman 0418 453 447
ŠThe Royal Australian and New Zealand College of