MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - A Human Rights Commission inquiry has revealed a startling spike in child self-harm and suicide attempts in Australia’s notorious immigration detention centers (IDC), The Guardian reported.
“Self-harm incidents and thoughts of suicide among children … are dramatically higher than for the parents, or for the other adults in detention, and it is quite clear that the impacts of detention on children are particularly egregious,” Professor Gillian Triggs, president of the commission, was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Triggs visited children at the Christmas Island detention center and saw 174 children who were sick and regressing in mental health.
Data from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection reveals that 128 children self-harmed from January 2013 to March 31, 2014. The rates are dangerously high, considering the center held some 2,000 children at its peak in July 2013, according to Australia’s Human Rights Commission.
According to child psychiatrist Professor Louise Newman, many of the Australian children she treated had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), The Guardian reported. Many children suffered from nightmares, flashbacks, bed-wetting, stuttering and a refusal to eat or leave their rooms, symptoms associated with PTSD, the newspaper reported. Newman said that children were constantly exposed to suicidal behavior, including that of their parents.