Church leaders have accused the Abbott government of abusing and neglecting children in the immigration detention system.
A group of Catholic and Christian church leaders will release a report on Wednesday calling for the government and the United Nations to protect the welfare of unaccompanied children who seek asylum in Australia.
The Protecting the Lonely Children report “paints a harrowing picture of neglect and abuse”, the group says.
The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce wants Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to renounce his position as guardian of all unaccompanied minors.
“The minister is conflicted in that he’s both jailer and carer and that’s a conflicted role,” report author Reverend Peter Catt told ABC radio on Wednesday.
The taskforce reportedly describes the government’s treatment of asylum seeker children as “state-sanctioned child abuse”.
Comment is being sought from Mr Morrison.