People Are Sharing Their Childhood Photos To Get Kids Out Of Detention Centres

"There is no excuse, no justification and no rationalisation for holding children in offshore detention where their childhoods are stolen from them."

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People are sharing pictures of themselves or their children growing up in Australia, to highlight the plight of 231 children who are currently being held in immigration detention centres.

Locked up in detention without a release date, will 231 children ever experience such unbridled joy? #KidsOut #auspol

On Thursday morning, silhouettes of 231 children were placed on the lawns of Parliament House, casting eerie shadows on the lawns.

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Save the Children runs counselling and school services at the detention centre in Nauru.

“We know from our unique experience providing support to children on Nauru that immigration detention is harmful to their mental and physical wellbeing, and the only way to guarantee their rights is for the Australian government to immediately end the practice of mandatory and prolonged detention,” said Save The Children's Tim Norton.

Former chief justice of the Family Court, and chair of Children's Right's International Alastair Nicholson QC describes the policies as some of the most regressive and unfair pieces of legislation in Australian history.

"They are a serious attack upon human rights, the rights of children and the rule of law. These shameful policies dishonour Australia throughout the civilised world," he said.

Bashir Yousufi was a child detainee on Christmas Island after travelling to Australia by boat at the age of 14. He made the journey alone, after his mother died from cancer and his father was killed in Afghanistan by Taliban extremists.

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Now studying and working in Sydney, Yousufi spoke at Thursday's protest about his journey to Australia and the year he spent in detention.

"There is no excuse, no justification and no rationalisation for holding children in offshore detention where their childhoods are stolen from them,” he said to the crowd at the protest.

"We try to deliver information about how bad and horrible it is," he told BuzzFeed News.

"I want to tell people about how difficult it is if you lock up a child in detention because I know how things work there and I know how terrible it is. Even today I am in the community but the impact is still being carried," he said.

"We still face problems every day, one of my friends has suffered from mental and psychological problems, anxiety and stress because it is not a place where you can grow up. It destroys your childhood."

Yousufi told BuzzFeed News that he understood the political motivations for the policy, but expressed his frustration that children were being locked up when they had done nothing wrong.

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"These are political issues which is nothing to do with a child who left their country seeking Australia, it has nothing to do with them and it should be ended."

Yousufi compared the cost of offshore detention centres to the potential contribution asylum seekers could make to the economy.

"The government is spending $300 per day for each person locked up in Nauru and they are happy to do that, but if we release one person, that person will come to the community and he will start working actively and pay tax."

"Heaps of action is going on in western Sydney, heaps of new business opening up by those people who have migrated from overseas to here. I know these people very well, we could do this much better if you could just give them an opportunity," Yousufi said.

The hashtag #KidsOut has been trending on Twitter as Australians share the types of childhood memories that children in detention are missing out on.

A thoughtful moment in a park. My kid was born free & lives free. No child should be caged. #kidsout

Our amazing parents gave @JTHanafie & me blessed childhoods. 231 children in detention deserve the same #kidsout

Every child should have right 2 express their individuality A right not afforded 231 children in detention #kidsout

Me and @JackReg had incredible childhoods. The 231 kids locked in detention are missing out on theirs. #kidsout

4 lil' Aussies off to visit their family os. Free 2 travel, play & enjoy childhood #kidsout

I loved making a mess in the kitchen. 231 kids in Aus detention are being denied great memories. Get the #KidsOut

231 kids in detention will never remember the joy that is dress ups and rope swings! #freedom #kidsout @GetUp @ASRC1

231 kids in detention are being denied their childhood. I wish I could share my childhood freedoms with them #kidsout

My grandaughter was born to be free. No baby should ever be locked up #kidsout

Me and my Dad circa 1983. Protected and safe like all children should be #KidsOut

When I was injured in a car accident in 1964, I was treated at the local hospital, not flown to India. #kidsout

This was taken in London in 1958 while world was still saying never again after WWII. How quickly we forget. #kidsout