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A Crying Shame

4 March 2014

I’m really embarrassed that Australia appears to have no qualms currently in breaching its obligations under international law and treaties.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – FAIL.  Australia keeps unaccompanied minors in detention, some offshore.  AND the Guardian of these children is the Minister for Immigration, ie the exact same person who is responsible for deciding their fate.  Hardly a proper advocate for them.

UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – FAIL.  The UN Human Rights Committee last August declared Australia has committed 150 violations of its treaty obligations, mainly with the INDEFINITE detention of 46 asylum seekers.  Australia was ordered to release them last week but the Government has shown no signs of doing so.  These people can be kept in detention for life – and have committed no crimes nor been tried in any court, open or otherwise.   They have been given no reasons for their indefinite detention so can hardly appeal the decision.  This is the Australian version of Guantanamo Bay.

International Maritime Law – FAIL.  Australian naval vessels have I understand breached Indonesia’s waters 6 times in the last few months, while towing boats full of asylum seekers and refugees back to Indonesia.

There are more.  Breaches of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The publication of the names, countries of origin and location of all asylum seekers currently held in detention (albeit briefly, until the Guardian newspaper pointed this breach out to the Department of Immigration and it was taken from the website).  The list is long and growing longer every day. 

It’s shaming.

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