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Kids’ detention fears

May 29th, 2011 Australia

TERRITORY doctors want children released from lock-up detention immediately because they are harming themselves.

Australian Medical Association NT president Paul Bauert says children as young as four have been involved in hunger strikes in Darwin’s detention centres. He said children under 10 had also tried to commit suicide.

“They will become damaged Australians,” he said.

He said about 95 per cent of children in detention would become Australian citizens but would have “long-term” disadvantages because of their time in detention.

He said the main concern for AMA members was stress.

Dr Bauert said stress in childhood could lead to cardiovascular problems, diabetes and mental illness.