Respect for international human rights and the rule of law is essential for a fair, just and secure global community. Australia played a leading role in the establishment of the United Nations human rights framework and it is in our national interest to be a good global human rights citizen.
The Human Rights Law Centre works to ensure that Australia engages positively and constructively with United Nations human rights bodies. We also work to ensure that Australia respects, implements and is held to account for its international human rights obligations both at home and abroad.
“The push to weaken the laws by some has run aground. It’s hard to imagine what those pushing for change want people to be able to say that they currently can’t. Any move to weaken the law itself would have sent a green light to racism,” said the Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Legal Advocacy, Adrianne Walters.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, today condemned the Australian Government’s treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum, saying that Australia’s human rights record has been tarnished.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, unveiled a much-needed initiative to help combat the growing problem of governments preventing human rights defenders from engaging with the UN or punishing and even imprisoning them when they do so.
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.
Australia’s youth justice practices breach international human rights law, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Law Centre told the United Nations in a statement read before the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The secrecy provisions of the 2015 Border Force Act have compromised Australians’ basic democratic rights and damaged Australia’s international standing, the Human Rights Law Centre told the United Nations overnight in a statement to the Human Rights Council.
The UN’s human rights chief, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on Australia to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
The United Nations Human Rights Council is on the cusp of establishing an Independent Expert to tackle violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Human Rights Law Centre joined in a statement delivered to the Council in Geneva overnight supported by 627 civil society organisations representing 151 countries.
Each year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosts the Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct where representatives from civil society, business, governments and trade unions meet to discuss and promote better business practices.
The Australian Government’s response overnight at the UN in Geneva to a major review of its human rights record has failed to address the serious concerns raised by the international community.
As Australia undermines international efforts to address Burma’s significant human rights challenges, it also misses an opportunity to establish its credentials as a global human rights leader, the Human Rights Law Centre has warned today.
Three UN human rights experts urged the Western Australian parliament not to adopt a proposed law that would criminalise peaceful protests and silence environmentalists and human rights defenders.
The HRLC’s Director of Advocacy and Research, Emily Howie, said that the Australia needs to improve its human rights record and that the HRLC has advocated for the establishment of an Australian human rights ambassador to promote and coordinate human rights within and across foreign policy since 2009.
The United Nations has intervened in the plight of 267 vulnerable people that the Australian Government intends to deport to offshore camps, warning the Government to adhere to its obligations under the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against torture and other cruel treatment.
Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers received unprecedented condemnation from the international community as the Government appeared before the Human Rights Council in Geneva overnight for its major four yearly human rights review in a process known as the ‘Universal Periodic Review’.
As the UN celebrates it's 70th birthday, the HRLC's Anna Brown looks at Australia’s involvement in the success and also the need to confront the current weakness of our leadership on human rights.
The HRLC has joined with Human Rights Watch to produce a report detailing how Australia can “lift its game” on human rights at home and abroad in order to strengthen its bid for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
There are some immediate, simple steps, new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can take to improve human rights in Australia. Our Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser outlines five priorities.
In the lead up to Australia’s review by the UN Human Rights Council, the Australian NGO Coalition has released a series of Fact Sheets and held a briefing event to inform UN member states about the human rights situation in Australia.
Australia should demonstrate its international human rights leadership by leading action at the Human Rights Council to address the urgent human right situation in Egypt, human rights organisations said in a joint letter to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Australia is using ever more radical measures to prevent people from seeking its protection and demonstrating increasing contempt towards the United Nations human rights system, the Human Rights Law Centre told the UN Human Rights Council this week.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has delivered a scathing assessment of Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva overnight.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has condemned Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers in a statement delivered to the UN Human Rights Council overnight.
The Australian Government has secretly returned 46 asylum seekers to Vietnam without any transparency or due process. Late on Friday 17 April, when news first broke that the asylum seekers were in Australian custody somewhere on the high seas, the Human Rights Law Centre sent a an urgent communication to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Australia’s steadily deteriorating human rights performance has been highlighted in a major report compiled by nearly 200 organisations around Australia. It will be presented to the United Nation’s peak human rights body in the lead up to a major review of Australia that takes place every four years.
The United Nations’ peak human rights body will tonight be urged to question Australia on its increasingly regressive approach to human rights in the lead up to a major review.
The United Nations Special Rapportuer on Torture has found that various aspects of Australia’s asylum seeker policies violate the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Confirmation that the Attorney-General sought the resignation of the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission reveals the depths of the Government’s willingness to undermine Australia’s independent human rights watchdog, said the Human Rights Law Centre. “This is a blatant political attack to punish the Commission for doing its job reporting on the harm being inflicted on children in detention,” said the HRLC’s Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser.
The United Nations Committee Against Torture has overnight condemned Australia’s asylum seeker policies and expressed serious concerns at the rates of violence against women and indigenous imprisonment.
Australia’s asylum seeker policies and counter-terror laws came under heavy scrutiny overnight at the United Nations in Geneva when Government officials were questioned by the UN Committee Against Torture.