You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Detention abuse response investigated

AAP logoAAP 15/08/2016 Elise Scott

The Immigration Department's handling of allegations of sex abuse against asylum seeker children in detention centres is being investigated by the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

But it's not yet clear if there will be public hearings into the department's response to abuse allegations.

The Royal Commission on Tuesday confirmed the "ongoing" investigation, after a recent push by human rights groups to include the department in the inquiry.

The push by three groups headed by the Human Rights Law Centre follows the leaking of thousands of incident reports from a detention centre in Nauru to the Guardian.

The commission last year ruled it could not investigate events in another country and it's not clear if offshore detention is included in the inquiry.

In a rare statement about operational matters, the commission said the level of public discussion relating to detention prompted the confirmation.

The commission is expecting a report by a child protection panel within the Immigration Department and will consider that report in its investigation.

"The Royal Commission anticipates that the report will deal with the department's response to, among other matters, allegations of child abuse in detention centres," the statement said.

The 2000 incident reports detail abuse, self harm and neglect claims by asylum seekers.

Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs backed the call to extend the commission to Australia's management of the entire Nauru process.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton maintains the most serious claims will be examined by his department but it was up to Nauru to investigate the cases.

He believes there are incidents of false claims by asylum seekers.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon