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Statement on travel ban and sanctions on Australians travelling from India

Rights Rights and Freedoms

The travel ban on Australian citizens returning from India, accompanied by criminal sanctions under the Biosecurity Act, raises serious human rights concerns.

The Commission supports the continuation of aid to the Indian Government as it copes with the current COVID-19 crisis, but the Commission holds deep concerns about these extraordinary new restrictions on Australians returning to Australia from India.

The need for such restrictions must be publicly justified. The Government must show that these measures are not discriminatory and the only suitable way of dealing with the threat to public health.

The Commission urges Parliament’s Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 to review these new restrictions immediately.

The Commission is approaching the Australian Government directly with its concerns.

The Commission has previously provided a detailed analysis of the human rights implications of COVID-19 emergency measures - and what principles are important to consider. You can find that on our website here:

https://humanrights.gov.au/about/covid19-and-human-rights/where-line-covid-19-emergency-measures