On Tuesday Australians woke up to discover that their country had been damned in a report published only hours before at a special meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and attended by representatives from around the world. The report included page after page of abuses. An unprecedented 110 countries lined up to give their views on Australia’s human rights record. Below, we reproduce screenshots of those sections of the main compilation document that examines Australia’s asylum-seeker program and operations, as well as provide links to submission documents.
Note: To see a recording of the entire UNHRC session regarding Australia’s record of human rights and violations, click here.
Over 100 countries commented and made 300 recommendations on Australia’s human rights record at the UNHRC session. Just under half of the submissions were on Australia’s policies regarding asylum-seekers and refugees. These submissions included demands that Australia cease its boat turnbacks policy, that mandatory detention should end or be used only when strictly necessary. There was also concern about Australia’s breach of the principle of non-refoulement. Note that Australia is the only country in the world to use offshore processing and mandatory detention.
The review also included indigenous rights, disability rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, racism and Islamophobia as well as marriage equality.
A report on which recommendations have been formally adopted will be issued this coming Thursday. Australia, especially if it still wishes to take a seat at the UNHRC from 2018, is expected to accept and act upon the recommendations.
To see details of the Australian NGO Coalition recommendations, click here. To see the Joint Australian NGO submission to the UNHRC, click here. To see Australia’s NGO Coalition Fact Sheet on Refugees and Asylum Seeker, click here.
Extracts from the Report of the Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Twenty-third session, 2-13 November 2015. Summary prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 and paragraph 5 of the annex to Council resolution 16/21. Australia…
Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers section (extract):
The document (protected pdf) as a whole can be seen by clicking here then click on the ‘E’ next to “Compilation of UN information”.