Catholic Religious Australia has written to the Morrison Government, highlighting where its refugee and asylum-seeker policies do not uphold Australia’s international human rights obligations.
The United Nations Human Rights Council reached the same conclusions in its recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The UPR assesses the human rights records of UN member states and addresses human rights violations wherever they occur. Australia has rejected the UPR’s recommendations to end the mandatory detention of asylum-seekers and close offshore processing centres.
CRA president Br Peter Carroll FMS said, “Australia’s third UPR was a chance for the government to respond to recommendations from UN member countries and Australians, including some religious congregations, to make positive changes to our refugee and asylum-seeker policies. It is extremely disappointing that the Government has rebuffed these recommendations”
“We will continue to advocate against the government’s policy of mandatory and long-term detention of asylum-seekers, including children, which breaches its obligations under the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
CRA national executive director Anne Walker said the government’s treatment of the Murugappan family that spent years in offshore detention and are currently bridging visas is a “clear example of how Australia’s migration policies are failing to uphold the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, especially children”.