Malcolm Turnbull orders Royal Commission into abuse of children in detention

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has today announced that there will be a Royal Commission into the treatment of juveniles at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Northern Territory.

The Royal Commission comes following the ABC’s Four Corner’s program on Monday night, which revealed horrifying acts of abuse against children at the detention centre.

“The Commonwealth Government will establish a Royal Commission, in co-operation with the Government of the Northern Territory into the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.


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“Like all Australians, we were shocked and appalled by the images of mistreatment of children at the detention centre.

“Every child in our justice system must be treated with humanity and respect at all times.”

Mr Turnbull said the two Governments will move quickly to finalise Terms of Reference and recommend an eminent person to conduct the inquiry.

“Previous inquiries conducted within the Northern Territory into the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre failed to identify the nature and extent of the behaviour highlighted by Four Corners,” The Prime Minister said.

“The powers of a Royal Commission, including its ability to compel evidence, are therefore necessary to identify the systemic failures at the institution.

“It is important that the causes and failures at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre are identified to provide lessons to other correctional institutions in Australia to ensure they are never repeated.

“This needs to be a thorough inquiry which exposes what occurred and why it remained concealed for so long.”