This law has been passed with bipartisan support. Professionals working in immigration detention centres are prevented from raising concerns about detention centre conditions and the physical and psychological treatment of asylum seekers or risk two years in jail.
Despite the wall of secrecy to prevent public scrutiny, a growing chorus of voices is emerging against abuses and poor conditions and in condemnation of this law that is not about stopping the boats or protecting our borders but protecting politicians.
If we witness child abuse in Australia we are legally obliged to report it to child protection authorities. If we witness child abuse in detention centres, we can go to prison for attempting to advocate for them effectively.
The disclosure of illegal, dangerous or unethical activities by governments or corporations is crucial for accountability. It is important in exposing corruption, mismanagement and fraud. Putting people above the institution and speaking out can save lives, protect dignity and save resources.