Report: Total Control: Ending the routine strip searching of women in Victoria’s prisons

Each year thousands of strip searches are conducted on women in Victoria’s prisons. Strip searches are invasive, humiliating and, in many cases, re-traumatising. They require women to strip naked in front of two prison officers. The Human Rights Law Centre reviewed six months of recent Victorian strip search register entries obtained through freedom of information laws from the two women’s prisons in Victoria.

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Report: Four Years Too Many: Offshore processing on Manus Island and Nauru

On 19 July 2013 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that no person seeking asylum by boat would ever be resettled in Australia. Every single person arriving after that date is subject to being indefinitely detained on Manus Island, PNG, or in the Republic of Nauru, under ‘processing’ arrangements between the Australian Government and those Pacific states.

Four years later, over 2000 refugees and people seeking asylum, including 169 children, still remain trapped in limbo on Manus and Nauru. In this joint report with GetUp we call on both major parties to form a bipartisan commitment to immediately evacuate the offshore camps and bring these men, women and children to safety.

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Report: Defending Democracy

Australian governments must act now to safeguard and encourage vibrant debate on matters of public interest, the Human Rights Law Centre said in a new report. This report is endorsed by Australia’s best known NGOs including Australian Progress, Pro Bono Australia, Oxfam, ACOSS, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Choice, Community Council for Australia, ActionAid, GetUp!, the Wilderness Society, the National Association of Community Legal Centres, Community Legal Centres NSW, Justice Connect and the Reichstein Foundation.

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Report: Over-represented and overlooked: the crisis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s growing over-imprisonment

The Human Rights Law Centre and Change the Record collaborated on this report to address the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.The imprisonment rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women has skyrocketed 148 per cent since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women make up around 34 per cent of the female prison population but only 2 per cent of the adult female population.

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Report: UN warns of diminishing democratic freedoms in Australia

Australia is failing to provide a safe and free environment for civil society and to ensure that people are free to speak out and peacefully protest on issues that they care about, said a UN Human Rights expert today. Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, has been in Australia for a two-week official visit, meeting with government, MPs and civil society organisations.

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Report: National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

This briefing paper is intended to provide background on the Guiding Principles and outline the case for the development of an Australian NAP. It draws on the experience of other states and on the significant work of UN bodies, civil society organisations and National Human Rights Institutions that are working to promote coherent and effective practice in the implementation of the Guiding Principles.

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Report: Domestic implementation of UN human rights recommendations

The UN human rights system comprises several bodies which periodically make recommendations to States to assist them in implementing their international human rights obligations. Whilst these conclusions and recommendations are known by different names - UN treaty bodies produce 'concluding observations and views', Special Procedures issue 'recommendations', and Universal Periodic Review 'outcomes' — they are known collectively as 'UN recommendations'. Effective follow-up by civil society is vital to ensuring that these UN recommendations are implemented and lead to an improvement of the human rights situation on the ground.

This paper considers ways in which NGOs may use follow-up strategies and initiatives to contribute to the implementation of UN recommendations at the national level.

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