• 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.

  • Police talk outside a house that was involved in pre-dawn raids in a western Sydney suburb on September 18, 2014.

    A counterterrorism bill before the Australian parliament would introduce overly broad new criminal offenses that undermine rights to freedom of expression and movement, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.