Australia to release some children from immigration detention

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By Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian government announced plans on Tuesday to release scores of children from immigration detention centers, following criticism from human rights advocates that detaining minors is detrimental to their mental and physical health. It will grant freedom to around 150 of the 876 children currently held in detention centers on the Australian mainland and on remote islands. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said children and their families in centers on the mainland who arrived before the introduction of tough new laws in mid-2013 would be released into the community on bridging visas by the end of the year while their applications for asylum are processed. Minors being held in offshore detention centers and those born in Australia to asylum seekers since a cut-off date of July 19 would be excluded.