Ms Ashford, who late last month talked to 29 of the boys, aged 13 to 17, who are without their parents, called for them to be released into the community.
She said it was unacceptable that the boys were receiving no schooling, aside from English, and that they had no equipment or facilities to play simple sport, such as cricket and soccer.
As well, she said the boys had received nothing in writing in their own language to explain their immigration status, with some not understanding why they were being held at the centre.
“They hadn’t had any community visitors,” she said. “I’ve been the first community visitor that they’ve seen.
“They also said they are having some problems sleeping…. The young men were worried they would go mental with worry about what was going to happen to them.”
Comment has been sought from the federal government.Source: The Australian – “Fears asylum children are ‘going mental'”
- Australian opposition party says asylum-seeker bridging visa system is out of control (craighill.net)
- New Zealand may take asylum-seekers from Australian detention (craighill.net)
- Mental health worries for teen asylum seekers (abc.net.au)
- Detained children fear going ‘mental’ (news.com.au)