Close this search box.

Human Rights Watch report slams Aus policies

< 1 min read

Australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers has been criticised in an international human rights report detailing the impacts of the practice on detainees.

The latest annual Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, titled World Report 2016, details abuses in more than 90 countries, highlights physical and sexual assault of asylum seeker children in detention.

“The government’s failure to respect international standards for asylum seekers and refugees continues to take a heavy human toll,” the report said.

“More than 300 children committed or threatened self-harm in a 15-month period in Australian immigration detention, and 30 reported sexual assault.”

The report claims Australia “outsources some of its obligations” to countries that are in a worse position to accept asylum seekers, including Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

HRW has also documented efforts by the government to stifle reporting on conditions in detention centres, including laws in which whistle-blowers face the possibility of two years in jail for leaking details about facilities.

“Medical groups have spoken out against the new law,” the report said.

The report accuses Australia of endangering lives when it turned boats carrying asylum seekers back to Indonesia.

Australia’s counter-terrorism laws, its record on indigenous rights, the treatment of disabled people and same-sex marriage equality were other areas of concern detailed in the report.

The Greens have welcomed the report, again calling for offshore facilities on Nauru and Manus Island to be closed.

“We have a permanent seat reserved at the table of global human rights abusers,” Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said.



For more information about Australia’s chapter in the Human Rights Watch’s 2016 report, download the report by visiting the website.

+ posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Up