• Australia has a strong record protecting civil and political rights, but has damaged its record and its potential to be a regional human rights leader by persistently undercutting refugee protections. Australia is frequently unwilling to publicly raise human rights abuses in countries with which it has strong trade or security ties, fearing that to do so would harm its relations with foreign governments. Human Rights Watch launched its first-ever office in Australia in August 2013, with the aim of increasing engagement with the Australian government on human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region. To support our work, please consider making a donation.

  • Eight Vietnamese bloggers and activists imprisoned for exercising basic rights. Clockwise from upper left: bloggers Nguyen Van Hai (a.k.a Dieu Cay; © Nguyen Van Hai & family), Ta Phong Tan (© Ta Phong Tan), Tran Huynh Duy Thuc (© Tran Huynh Duy Thuc & family), Ho Thi Bich Khuong (© Ho Thi Bich Khuong), religious activists Nguyen Van Lia (© private), Mai Thi Dung (© Mai Thi Dung & family), Dang Xuan Dieu (© Thanh nien Cong giao); and Father Nguyen Van Ly (© 2010 Reuters).

    Australia should use the upcoming Australia-Vietnam human rights dialogue to press the Vietnamese government to make concrete and measurable improvements in its abysmal human rights record.