“The Immigration Department has confirmed it is urgently looking into the case of a young boy who is still being held on Christmas Island a week after the death of his father. The nine-year-old’s father died of a heart attack shortly after arriving on the island by boat on Wednesday.
The department says the child is in the company of a family relative on Christmas Island but says it is urgently considering options for his longer-term care. Sophie Peer from the advocacy group Chilout has written to Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor and the department, urging it to remove the boy from the island.
She says the boy has two uncles living in Australia who have put up their hands to take care of him. “The detention environment is simply completely inappropriate for this little boy at a time of grief,” she said. “He only arrived on Wednesday, his father died that night. “He’s surrounded by guards, he’s in an overcrowded detention situation, he has at least two uncles here in Australia who are more than willing to take care of the little boy.”
Ms Peer says she has not received any response from Mr O’Connor. “We have heard nothing back from the minister’s office and we’ve simply heard from the Department of Immigration that they would follow up and get back to us,” she said.”
For full, original text visit: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-07/child-still-in-christmas-island-detention-after-father-dies/4675714