Media Release: NTCOSS response to 4 Corners’ report.
Shocking 4 Corners story highlights human rights violations in broken NT justice system. NTCOSS calls for immediate dismissal of Minister Elferink and outlawing of inhumane use of restraints.
The footage on ABC TV’s 4 Corners program last night was nothing short of deeply disturbing and utterly shocking. Firstly, we must acknowledge the bravery and integrity of the people who spoke out and exposed what is a shameful and broken system to 4 Corners. We must too note that there were many reviews and reports that were not acted upon in the lead up to the 4 Corners program.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 37) states that children who break the law should not be treated cruelly. The footage we saw last night exposed illegal and inhumane treatment of children in the Northern Territory.
NTCOSS calls for:
- Chief Minister Giles to immediately sack Attorney General and Minister for Corrections John Elferink. It is untenable for Minister Elferink to remain in his position, and we have no confidence in him overseeing youth justice in the Northern Territory;
- The immediate outlawing of inhumane use of restraints, including restraint chairs;
- A purpose built youth detention facility in Darwin;
- A stand alone youth justice unit to be established;
- An immediate investigation into detention facility staff shown in the 4 Corners program; and,
- Better screening, training and management of staff in detention facilities going forward.
- Immediate independent oversight of Northern Territory youth detention centres
NTCOSS supports Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement for a Royal Commission into the Northern Territory’s Don Dale detention centre and juvenile justice system.
We support Northern Territory Opposition leader Michael Gunner’s calls to work with the NGO sector to develop a contemporary youth justice and rehabilitation system.
For more information/comment: Wendy Morton, NTCOSS Executive Director 0418 482 660 Marnie Round, NTCOSS Policy & Communications Officer 0438 552 584