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Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 06:27 GMT
Inquiry into Australia's refugees
Breaking News
Australia's Human Rights Commission says it is to investigate the conditions of hundreds of children held in refugee detention centres.

The move follows complaints from detainees and human rights groups that children are being roughly handled by guards and denied schooling.

The head of the commission, Sev Ozdowski, said he would examine whether Australia was breaching its international obligations on the rights of children.

"The only power I have is to shame the government, to report publicly," he said.

More than 500 children are currently being detained - about 50 of whom are unaccompanied.

Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised the Australian Government for its policy of imprisoning all asylum-seekers until their applications for refugee status are processed.

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