click to call
NationalNumber1300 798 6301800 GENUINE Western Australia Queensland New South Wales Victoria South Australia
SYDNEY PARRAMATTA NSW
12/83 George Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
LIVERPOOL NSW
Level 2, 215-219 George Street LIVERPOOL NSW 2170
NEWCASTLE, NSW
6 Portside Crescent, Mint Business Centre, Maryville 2293 NSW
WOLLONGONG, NSW
Suite 1, Ground Floor, Enterprise 1 Innovation Campus, Squires Way North Wollongong NSW 2500 Australia
PENRITH, NSW
Level 1, 331 High Street, PENRITH NSW 2750
NORTH SHORE, NSW
Suite 2, Level 3, 828 Pacific Highway, Gordon NSW 2072
BLACKTOWN, NSW
10-12 Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown NSW 2148
PYMBLE, NSW
Level 2 25 Ryde Road PYMBLE NSW 2073
GOSFORD, NSW
28 William Street (The Masonic Centre - next to the Imperial Shopping Centre, directly opposite Kibble Park) GOSFORD NSW 2250
CHATSWOOD, NSW
Level 13, 465 Victoria Ave, CHATSWOOD NSW 2067
SYDNEY, NSW
170 Phillip St, Sydney NSW 2000 (Law Society of NSW, Library on Level 1)
PERTH
Suite 7, 342 Albany Highway,
Victoria Park WA 6100
JOONDALUP (serviced)
15 Barron Parade Joondalup WA 6027
CANNING VALE
First Floor, Suite 11 288 Amherst Road Canning Vale WA 6155
GERALDTON, WA
184 Marine Tce, GERALDTON WA 6530
MANDURAH, WA
17/38 Tuckey St, MANDURAH WA 6210
ALBANY, WA
222 Chester Pass Rd ALBANY WA 6330
Brisbane
Building 1, Kings Row, Level 2, 52 McDougall Street MILTON QLD 4064
FORTITUDE VALLEY, QLD
Level 8, 757 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
BROOKWATER (IPSWICH AREA)
5/22 Magnolia Drive, Brookwater QLD 4300
GOLD COAST, QLD
155 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes, Gold Coast, 4227
EIGHT MILE PLANTS (LOGAN AREA) QLD
Building 6, 2404 Logan Road, Eight Mile Plains, 4113
MURARRIE, QLD
Building 1, 747 Lytton Road, Murarrie, 4172
GREENSLOPES QLD
138 Juliette Street, Greenslopes, 4120
CABOOLTURE
4/29-31 King St, CABOOLTURE, QLD 4510
TOOWOOMBA,QLD (SERVICED ADDITIONAL)
58-62 Water Street South Toowoomba QLD 4350

Seeking asylum is a human right

UN finds Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers violates the Convention Against Torture

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.

The findings from the Special Rapportuer, Juan Mendez, will be formally submitted to the UN Human Rights Council today in a report prepared by the independent UN expert tasked with investigating breaches of the Convention around the world.

Human Rights Law Centre Director of Legal Advocacy, Daniel Webb, said that the report’s findings made it clear that the Australian Government’s actions breach international law.

“The Government always assures the Australian people that it complies with its international human rights obligations. But here we have the United Nations once again, in very clear terms , telling the Government that Australia’s asylum seeker policies are in breach of international law,” said Mr Webb.

The report finds that Australia’s indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island, the harsh conditions, the frequent unrest and violence inside the centre and the failure to protect certain vulnerable individuals all amount to breaches of the Convention.

“The Torture Convention prohibits subjecting people to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The report confirms that by leaving people locked up indefinitely in appalling conditions on a remote island, Australia is failing to meet this basic standard,” said Mr Webb.

The report also finds that the recent amendments to the Maritime Powers Act, which give the Government unprecedented powers to detain and return asylum seekers intercepted at sea, also violate the Convention.

“Under international law, Australia can’t lock people up incommunicado on a boat somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Nor can we return people to a place where they face the risk of being tortured. Yet these are precisely the powers the Government has sought to give itself through recent amendments to its maritime law,” said Mr Webb.

The report notes that Australia repeatedly breached the obligation to fully cooperate with the UN Special Rapportuer in their investigations and criticises the Australian Government for providing inadequate responses to the complaints made against it.

“Australia needs this system of international law and order. Our Government often relies on it to protect our own national interests. So it’s incredibly short-sighted for the Government to start thumbing its nose at the UN system just because it doesn’t like what it’s being told,” said Mr Webb.

Mr Webb also said that, more broadly, the report confirmed that Australia’s asylum seeker policies were of growing concern internationally and were clearly damaging Australia’s hard-won reputation as a decent, rights-respecting nation.

“Australia signed up to the Convention Against Torture 30 years ago. We did so because as a nation we agreed with the important minimum standards of treatment it guaranteed. Yet here we are 30 years on, knowingly breaching those standards and causing serious damage to our reputation,” said Mr Webb.

Mr Webb said Australia needed to focus on developing genuine regional solutions to provide safe ways for asylum seekers to apply for protection.

“Being called out as a nation that breaches the Torture Convention should be a wake-up call for Australia. Rather than persuing costly, cruel and unlawful policies, Australia should work with the United Nations and regional partners to develop safe pathways to protection for refugees,” said Mr Webb.

Link: http://hrlc.org.au/un-finds-australias-treatment-of-asylum-seekers-violates-the-convention-against-torture/