UN to critique Australia's human rights record

Amnesty International believes the committee will find Australia has not met its obligations when it comes to the treatment asylum seekers. [Australian Customs Service]
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Amnesty International believes the committee will find Australia has not met its obligations when it comes to the treatment asylum seekers. [Australian Customs Service]

Last Updated: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 07:58:00 +1000

The United Nations will examine Australia's human rights record when a UN committee hears from non-government organisations, the Australian Human Rights Commission, and others, about the country's human rights record.

Amnesty International's Claire Mallinson says she believes the committee will find Australia has not met its obligations when it comes to the treatment of Aborigines and asylum seekers.

"Last time in 2005 in relation to the treatment of refugees it found that we weren't complying with international law and I think it is highly likely that Australian policies, when they are in the global spotlight again today, they will also find that we are not complying," she said.

Ms Mallinson says Australia has breached its obligations in a number of fundamental ways - especially in regards to the Northern Territory intervention.

"Although the Government has recently made a few changes to legislation to re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act, they've really just tinkered around the edges and they are still discriminating against Indigenous peoples," she said.

She also says Australia is also still discriminating against people who arrive by boat rather than by planes.

Amnesty International is calling on federal politicians to change their policies so Australia does not breach international human rights obligations.

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