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This podcast was recorded on 23 April 2015. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s 'Forgotten Children' report on children in immigration detention caused considerable controversy, and offers a rare insight into life inside Australia’s detention centres. At this seminar, Jennifer Whelan and Madeline Gleeson spoke about the key findings of the report and some of the questions it raises.

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The Forgotten Children: Australia's treatment of asylum seeker and refugee children
Recorded: 23 April 2015


About the Speakers

Jenni Whelan is a Senior Lecturer in the UNSW Faculty of Law and Acting-Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre’s Migrant and Refugee Rights Project. Jenni is a human rights and anti-discrimination lawyer and an accredited mediator. She has practiced and lectured in discrimination and human rights law for over 15 years. Jenni has previously been appointed an expert on the Rights of the Child by the Australian Defence Force (Cadets) and has done International capacity building work including liaising with the Commission on Gender Equality, Johannesburg, in relation to running public interest litigation. Jenni also acted as counsel assisting the Inquiry into sexual harassment and sex discrimination at the Australian Defence Force Academy from April - August 2011.

Jenni has been a Member of the Guardianship Tribunal of NSW and a Guardian Ad Litem of the Children’s Court. She has also provided advice as a Consultant to Government, Non-Government Organisations and Corporations in relation to the implementation of Australia’s human rights and non-discrimination obligations. Jenni was most recently the Acting Director of the Legal Section at the Australian Human Rights Commission. In this capacity, Jenni both advised and represented the Commission and oversaw the preparation and conduct of litigation in discrimination and human rights matters, including as instructing solicitor in the High Court 'Malaysian Solution' litigation on behalf of the AHRC as intervener

Madeline Gleeson is a lawyer and Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. She holds a Master in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, which she completed after being awarded the prestigious John Monash scholarship in 2012. Madeline also holds a Bachelor in International Studies and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales, and a Diploma of Political Studies from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Aix en Provence, France. Previously, Madeline worked with the UNHCR and the International Catholic Migration Commission in Geneva, with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia, and as a solicitor in Australia. She also has human rights and refugee experience in South Africa and Indonesia. Madeline’s research areas include State responsibility, extraterritorial human rights obligations, offshore processing, and the protection of children.

The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.