chapter  11
10 Pages

Violence and the state: asylum seeker children


This chapter will address structural violence towards asylum seeker children and consider contributory factors from both an Australian and international perspective. In this chapter it is argued that structural violence is being perpetrated against asylum seeker children following arrival in their country of destination. The evidence for this is shown in their health difficulties, their problems in education, problems in housing and difficulties in income provision. But this structural violence and oppression, caused in some part by their unresolved legal status, has other significant consequences; children cannot develop and form an identity or a sense of belonging with their new country. In the Australian context collateral damage to children, stemming from deliberate state policies and practices focusing on deterrence has meant that, for example, perceptions of Australia as a fair country, where children and families are given a ‘fair go’ is questionable.