A 16-year-old Indonesian boy has been working alongside sex offenders in a high security adult jail in Perth, it has been claimed.
It has been confirmed through relatives and school records that the boy turned 16 on March 17, meaning under Federal Government policy he should have been flown home without charge last year.
Australian Federal police, relying on an 80-year-old wrist X-ray technique that has been widely discredited, have charged the boy with people smuggling, which carries a mandatory five years jail for adults.
Lawyers said the boy is "spooked" and scared in Hakea adult remand centre in Perth where he works in a laundry alongside the sex offenders.
The boy's brother Heriyandi, said the boy, whose father died when he was a toddler, left school at 14 and went to stay in Jakarta with relatives, saying he "wanted to make some money and not continue in high school".
In April last year he was found to be a deckhand on a boat carrying 30 asylum seekers that arrived at Ashmore Reef.
Gerry Georgatos, a lawyer and convener of the Human Rights Alliance who met the boy in jail in March, said by telephoning Indonesia he was able to acquire meticulous personal details about the boy, whose family is from Batam Island, near Singapore.
The WA prisons watchdog says the Australian Government should sign a prisoner transfer agreement with Indonesia in a bid to accommodate the growing number of people smuggling boat crew being held in State prisons.
Inspector of Custodial Services Neil Morgan said the Federal Government needed to plan for the rising number of Indonesians in WA.
"It is not inconceivable that in five or six years time we will have upwards of 500 (of these) prisoners in our jails," Mr Morgan said. "There needs to be a full-on debate about what the options are."
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