Banksia Hill conditions are an appalling breach of human rights: reform is urgent

19th Apr 2022

Conditions at Banksia Hill youth detention facility indicate clear breaches of children’s human rights and show that little has been learnt from the Northern Territory’s Don Dale Royal Commission, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“The WA government purports to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child and says it is committed to improving outcomes for Indigenous communities but, at the same time, has allowed cruelty and state sanctioned abuse to occur on its watch,” says Tom Percy QC, state criminal justice spokesperson, ALA.

“Australia has a commitment to ensure that people in prison – especially children - are safe and are treated with humanity and respect.”

The report issued today by the Inspector of Custodial Services in WA shows that conditions at Banksia Hill Detention Centre do not meet international standards and are not appropriate for the detention of children.

 “We seem to have learnt nothing from the horrors of Don Dale,” said Greg Barns SC, national criminal justice spokesperson, ALA. “The treatment of the children at the Centre amounts to abuse and exposes the government to compensation claims for the mental and physical injury caused.

“The $25 million upgrade for the Centre announced today is welcome but urgent and immediate action is required to address the issues at the Centre.

“Detention of young people should only ever occur where absolutely necessary because there is no other option to ensure their safety and the safety of others in the community. The community must also be confident that children are protected from harm while under the care and supervision of the state.” 

Tags: Criminal justice Youth Justice Prisons