The Australian Government was again grilled last night at the United Nations in Geneva with the Human Rights Committee taking aim at the failure to scrap the cruel fines laws that resulted in Ms Dhu’s tragic death in custody.
Just one day after condemning the Australian Government’s “chronic non-compliance” with international human rights laws, in a further hearing overnight the expert Committee honed in on the Government’s cruelty to refugees and in particular its offshore detention regime. The Human Rights Committee described the policies as “shocking” and “disturbing”.
Australian engineering firm Canstruct will be complicit in serious human rights abuses if it takes over the contract to run the Australia’s immigration detention centre on Nauru. A leaked memo from Canstruct’s CEO overnight, shows the company will take over the contract to run the Nauru centre by the end of the month, and will be paid $8 million by the Australian Government.
Overnight Australia was slammed by the UN Human Rights Committee for its “chronic non-compliance” with, and disengagement from, that Committee’s work. Australia’s record on human rights was found lacking as part of the Committee’s review into Australia’s protection of civil and political rights.
The Federal Government’s Welfare Reform Bill contains stigmatising and needlessly punishing measures, whilst giving too much power over the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities to an unelected bureaucrat.
The High Court of Australia has ruled that key provisions of Tasmania’s excessive anti-protest legislation are invalid because they violate the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution.The Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre, Hugh de Kretser, said the decision was a big win for democracy in Australia.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has come under strong criticism from members of an advisory group that the Minister established just this year. Members of the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group on the Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were disappointed that their recommendations have been dismissed outright by the Foreign Minister.
Media Alert: At 10:15am Wednesday 18 October the High Court of Australia will hand down its decision in a landmark case which argued that Tasmania’s excessive anti-protest laws violate the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution.
During the same week that Australia is expected to be granted a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, an expert UN committee will grill the Australian Government over its own human rights record.
“This is the most significant UN position Australia has sought since the Security Council. Relatively speaking Australia is likely to be a positive force for reform on the Council, but if it wants to have the credibility required to be a true human rights leader it can't continue to blatantly breach international law itself. There's no doubt that it's cruel treatment of refugees will hamstring Australia's efforts on Council," said Emily Howie.
We welcome the Queensland Government’s important step to help people whose love was criminalised by unjust laws. It’s not only a symbolic win, it will also remove practical barriers imposed by these unfair convictions.
"After four years of fear, violence, suffering and death, these men deserve safety. Shunting them from one island prison to another doesn’t cut it,” said Daniel Webb.
Many Australians wouldn't think twice about putting their name to a petition to support a cause close to their hearts, but in Indonesia's Papuan provinces calls for independence can land you in jail for 15 years. So it is truly remarkable that 1.8 million Papuans have signed a petition — specifically banned by the Indonesian Government — calling on the United Nations to conduct a free vote about independence, writes Tom Clarke.
Men are dying, women have been sexually assaulted and children traumatised on Manus and Nauru. This can’t continue writes Daniel Webb.