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Australia investigates detention centre on abuse reports.


AUSTRALIA is investigating 44 allegations of sexual abuse of asylum seekers in detention centres.

Immigration official Ken Douglas told a senate committee that some of these cases involve children but could not say how many.

Local media say that the claims cover a period from January 2013 to July 2014.

Immigration Department Secretary Michael Pezzullo said on Tuesday that 126 children were still in immigration detention.

Speaking at a senate committee hearing in Canberra, he said that fewer than 20 of these children were facing long-term detention.

“There are 19 children in families where there are law enforcement or national security issues pertaining to an adult relative,” he said according to the News Corp website.

Mr Pezzullo added that he had ordered an examination of all of the incidents involving the alleged abuse of children dating back to 2008.

Earlier, local media reported that the immigration department said that some of the 44 allegations of sexual abuse at detention centres involved children.

Mr Douglas was quoted by ABC News as saying that they “represent sexual assaults involving a minor, to a minor or in a detention facility in which a minor was accommodated”.

He added that at this time it was not possible to determine whether all of the reports related to minors or not.

The senate committee also heard that there had been 19 reported cases of sexual assault at the Nauru Island detention facility over the past two years, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. Five of them involved children.

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