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Blog: Visiting Villawood

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

When I heard that another mother had been imprisoned at Villawood with her two children I went out to meet them. I regularly visit this detention centre, in Sydney's western suburbs, and have come to know quite a few of the detainees in there

I find most of my visits to Villawood are distressing, but this time it was especially difficult. There are now three mothers locked up indefinitely with no reason as to why and with a debilitating fear of what the future holds for their children.

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Human rights for asylum seekers

The Greens believe asylum seekers should be welcomed to Australia, not vilified, victimised, or used for political advantage.

Australia needs a whole-of-government approach which acknowledges the extreme circumstances that lead people to seek asylum and gives unconditional support to their welfare.

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Chris Bowen visit puts Labor's self interest before human rights

Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen should use his current visit to Sri Lanka to take up the issue of ongoing human rights abuses, rather than pandering to the Rajapakse government to shore up ongoing co-operation with Australia against people smuggling, says Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

"It is a disgrace to learn that ahead of his Sri Lanka visit Minister Bowen praised the Rajapakse government for co-operating with Australia against people smuggling," Senator Rhiannon said.

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A Happy New Year?

I was very touched to receive a Christmas card from the Rahavan family who are languishing indefinitely in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. You can read about their story here.

I have visited the family a few times now, most recently for the 1st birthday of their youngest son Vaheson who was born in detention.

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