11 Jun 2004

Australia holds firm on processing centres

10:23 am on 11 June 2004

Australia's Immigration minister says mandatory detention of child asylum seekers will continue.

Amanda Vanstone's comments come despite a call from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission for all child detainees to be freed.

Australia is holding 88 children in various forms of detention.

Human Rights Commissioner Sev Ozdowski says he's disappointed the government's continuing to hold the children under immigration policy.

Senator Vanstone says there are currently 12 children in detention centres in Australia and another 11 children at the Christmas Island detention centre, in the Indian Ocean.

She says there were also 28 children currently in alternative detention, including arrangements such as community housing and foster care, and a further 37 children classified as compliance detainees - those awaiting deportation.