MAPW supports Doctors4Refugees High Court Action

3rd August 2016

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) strongly endorses the High Court challenge to the secrecy provisions of the Border Force Act launched last week by the organisation Doctors for Refugees.

It is an important part of health care that doctors and other health workers are free to speak out when health care provision is not adequate. The conditions in the offshore detention centres have been reported as actively detrimental to the people held in these facilities. Federal government arguments that no individual has yet been charged under these provisions are not sufficient. These laws will actively deter open disclosure of the conditions in the facilities. Health workers have a duty of care, and it is not acceptable that they are silenced by secrecy laws.

“ Many of these asylum seekers have fled their homes due to conflicts in countries where Australia has been part of the attacking forces. The government has a responsibility,  at the very least, to  provide adequate health care. ” said MAPW president Dr Margaret Beavis.

“Secrecy provisions in the Border Force Act are unacceptable. Health workers at the detention centres must be able to advocate on behalf of their patients. “

For Comment

Margaret Beavis 0401 99 56 99


Information for Editors

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) is a professional not-for-profit organisation that works to promote peace and disarmament. MAPW aims to reduce the physical and psychological impact, as well as environmental effect of wars throughout the world. MAPW has branches in every State and Territory in Australia.

MAPW is the Australian affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNWii). This international federation has affiliates in 58 countries and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. In 1986, during the International Year of Peace, MAPW was chosen by the Government to receive one of the Australian Peace Awards, presented by then Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Since its foundation in 1981, MAPW has been a strong voice in the work to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, promoting the use of resources for human and environmental well-being rather than the acquisition of armaments. We promote solutions through research, consultation, advocacy, education and partnerships.

MAPW is independent of all political parties. MAPW’s core funding comes from its members, who determine its policies.