Australia | Statement by the Commonwealth Ombudsman on the management of COVID-19 risks in immigration detention facilities

We have, for many years, undertaken inspections of immigration detention facilities and made findings and recommendations to the Department of Home Affairs (the department) and its predecessors about this work. We receive and investigate complaints from immigration detainees. Under s 486O of the Migration Act 1958, we consider the individual cases of people who have been detained for longer than two years to provide reports and, where appropriate, recommendations to the relevant Minister.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents particular risks in detention environments, but also challenges for inspection bodies.

We have been actively monitoring the department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic including its infection control measures across the immigration detention network. The department has implemented strategies across the network, which are informed by the CDNA Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public Health Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Correctional and Detention Facilities in Australia (the CDNA Guidelines). The Office’s monitoring of immigration detention facilities at this time is particularly focussed on how these guidelines are adhered to by facilities in practice.

Please find the full statement below.


Source: Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australia

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