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Address Asylum Policy, Indigenous Inequality, Climate Change

(Geneva, July 8, 2021) – Australia’s rejection of recommendations from United Nations member countries to end the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and close offshore processing centers shows continuing disregard for the rights of migrants, Human…
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Item 6 - Universal Periodic Review

Human Rights Watch deeply regrets that Australia has rejected recommendations to end the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and close offshore processing centers. Human Rights Watch and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have…
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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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Countries Criticize Failures on Refugees, Children, Indigenous Rights

(Geneva) – The Australian government should seriously address the criticisms of its human rights record and scores of recommendations raised by United Nations member countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Australia appeared before the UN Human…
Australia at HRC
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July 2020

Introduction Human Rights Watch submits the following information regarding Australia's implementation of recommendations it accepted through its 2015 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) as well as information about developments in the human rights…
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Universal Periodic Review Should Address Rights of Refugees, Indigenous Peoples

(Sydney)– The Australian government has failed to meet important commitments to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and Indigenous peoples, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Australia…
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Government Should End Harmful Offshore Policy

This Sunday marks the seventh anniversary of Australia’s disastrous decision to resume its policy of transferring asylum seekers offshore. Since July 2013, Australia has forcibly transferred more than 3,000 asylum seekers who traveled there by boat to…
Asylum seekers and refugees hold placards during protest against their detention at Kangaroo Point Hotel in Brisbane, Australia, amid the Covid-19 crisis.
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Refugees, Health Care, and Criminal Justice Top Agenda

(Sydney) – Australia’s sweeping national security laws and police actions against journalists and whistleblowers are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. Refugee…
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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Human Rights Council Seat Demands Greater Leadership

(Sydney) – The Australian government should make the protection of human rights a central focus of its foreign policy, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the recently reappointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne that was released today. …
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France Bows Out, Leaving an Open Field

To avoid the embarrassment of a public loss, the French government has decided to drop out of the race to join the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). Unless another country steps up, Spain and Australia are guaranteed to win…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
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Will Treatment of Refugees Affect Bid?

This week Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is on a charm offensive at the United Nations in New York in a bid for a Human Rights Council seat in 2018-2020. Australia, France, and Spain are vying in a competitive…
A protester from the Refugee Action Coalition holds a placard during a demonstration outside the offices of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Sydney, Australia, April 29, 2016.
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Regardless of if you look at United States, Europe, or the Pacific, the global asylum system is quickly falling apart.

The broad outlines of President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy veers from build-a-wall isolationism to jingoistic sabre rattling, but in one dimension it has been sadly consistent: the stance that refugees should…
Demonstrators march outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. as part of a protest against the US government's refugee ban in New York on March 28, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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This week, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is visiting Australia. Besides growing economic cooperation, apparently 'enhanced cooperation on development and sport' between the two nations is on the agenda. But let’s hope that beyond…
A Tamil woman cries as she holds up an image of her family member who disappeared during the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at a vigil to commemorate the international day of the disappeared in Colombo August 30, 2013.
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Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centers in neighboring countries. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt,…
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A Well-Earned Rebuke From the UN Children’s Rights Committee

The government of Nauru went to Geneva last month to defend the indefensible: its complicity with Australia’s offshore detention and processing of refugees. Unsurprisingly, its effort was unsuccessful. In a blistering report issued today, the…
Refugee children on Nauru protest Australia’s offshore detention operations, August 2016.