05:56 GMT +324 October 2019
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    The Abbott government tried to persuade the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, to resign two weeks ahead of the publication of the Commission’s critical report on the state of children in immigration detention

    Canberra Reportedly Tried to Oust Watchdog Chief Over Study of Child Abuse

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    According to the study, more than 300 children committed or threatened self-harm, 33 were subjected to sexual assault and almost 30 went on a hunger strike.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Abbott government tried to persuade the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, to resign two weeks ahead of the publication of the Commission’s critical report on the state of children in immigration detention, Fairfax Media said Friday.

    According to Australian media, the request for Triggs to resign as well as an offer of an unspecified new position was made by an unnamed government official on behalf of Attorney-General senator George Brandis. Triggs is understood to have rejected it.

    Professor Triggs was appointed the head of the Australian Human Rights Commission in July 2012 for a five-year term and can be removed for bankruptcy or serious misconduct only.

    The Commission’s inquiry into children in immigration detention report, titled The Forgotten Children, was sent to the government in November, 2014 and tabled on Wednesday.

    The inquiry staff interviewed 1129 children over a 15-month period from January, 2013 to March, 2014 and revealed that “prolonged detention is having profoundly negative impacts on the mental and emotional health and development of children.”

    According to the report, more than 300 children committed or threatened self-harm, 33 were subjected to sexual assault and almost 30 went on a hunger strike.

    On Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot rejected the Commission’s recommendation for establishing a public investigation into the treatment of children in detention, calling the report a “transparent stitch-up.”

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    child abuse, Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, Tony Abbott, Australia
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