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Immediate action needed on NT child abuse, says Law Council

28 July 2016

The Law Council of Australia has called for immediate action from the Northern Territory Government to intervene and prevent the abuse of children in detention.

This follows a television report by the Four Corners programme of the ABC which showed a pattern of abuse, deprivation and punishment of vulnerable children inside Northern Territory youth detention centres.

Law Council Director Arthur Moses SC says the deeply disturbing footage underscored the need for immediate action. He says the Law Council offers its full support for a Commonwealth Royal Commission into the abuse of children in detention in the Northern Territory.

"Don Dale Youth Detention Centre should have been shut down when the Children's Commissioner's report was first handed down, and it must be immediately shut down now," he says.

"The Northern Territory Government must move swiftly to ensure complete compliance with the NT Children's Commissioner's recommendations, including proper recruitment and training of Youth Justice Officers, best practice standards around the use of restraints and support programmes for juveniles in detention."

The Australian Human Rights Commission has also described the matters shown in the documentary as "an absolute disgrace". The immediate establishment of a Royal Commission has been welcomed.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019