Detention Harms Health March

Name of the activity: Detention Harms Health March

Country/NMO: Australia (AMSA)

Program: Ethics & Human Rights in Health

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Campaign. Combination of education and advocacy. Campaigns create awareness in society about a certain topic (education aspect) and try to funnel this awareness into pressure on the decision makers to adapt policies accordingly (advocacy aspect).

General description:

The detention harms health march is an advocacy campaign that aims to demonstrate to the Australia government medical student’s opposition to mandatory offshore processing. Offshore processing has been found to be unlawful by the UN, and in violation of international law, and human rights abuses while Australia presides over the detention centres as a direct result of the policy. By campaigning, we aim to make the government rethink their strict policy and to remove all children and adults from offshore detention. We will evaluate this campaign by looking at the number of people still in offshore detention as well as by looking at whether the government has changed the policy.

Focus area:

Peace, peacebuilding and health

Problem statement:

Mandatory offshore processing of all unauthorised arrivals by boat is currently an Australia-wide policy. The detention centres that have been located on Manus Island (part of Papua New Guinea) and Nauru have extremely poor facilities. Instances of assault, sexual abuse, self-harm and suspicious deaths have occurred, and the conditions have been likened to torture. The Australian Government has also been found to be breaching non-refoulement obligations under international law.

Target groups:

General population, Medical students, Doctors


Refugees, Incarcerated individuals

Objectives and indicators of success:

– End mandatory offshore processing as a policy adopted by the Australian government.

o Measured by whether this is still an Australian government policy

– Remove all children from detention centres

o Measured by number of children still in detention

– Remove all adults from detention centres

o Measure by number of adults still in detention

– Raise awareness in the general public of issues surrounding refugees and asylum seekers

o Measured by number of people at the protest, and number of articles in and around the media


– Organise medical students and doctors to meet in the same place on the same day at the same time, wearing shirts that bear the slogan #detentionharms

– Take photos and release media releases

Plans for evaluation:

Evaluate by looking at:

– How many people are still in offshore detention

– What the public opinion regarding offshore detention is (using polls/public analysis tools)

– Whether the government is still maintaining the offshore detention policy

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