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President addresses UN Human Rights Council

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Professor Gillian Triggs

On March 20, the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, addressed the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council by video statement.

The statement provides an update to the Human Rights Council on the progress that Australia has made in 2014 in implementing recommendations made at the last Universal Periodic Review. The Universal Periodic Review is a unique process whereby Australia’s human rights record is reviewed by all 193 member states of the United Nations.

Professor Triggs’ statement welcomed the progress Australia has made in implementing its UPR commitments over 2014. These achievements include continued support of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the launch of a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery.

Professor Triggs’ told the Human Rights Council that, despite this progress, “Australia has fully implemented only 11% of the UPR recommendations that it accepted in whole or in part. There remain substantial weaknesses in Australia’s protection of human rights.”

Professor Triggs highlighted challenges in the area of asylum seeker and refugee policy and delays in the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.

View the President’s video statement in full at

Since 2012, the Australian Human Rights Commission has conducted an annual assessment of Australia’s progress in implementing the recommendations that resulted from the first Universal Periodic Review. This takes the form of an annual Progress Report that is lodged with the Human Rights Council.

The 2014 Universal Periodic Review Progress Report is available at:…

Australia’s second cycle Universal Periodic Review is taking place in 2015.  The Australian Human Rights Commission will submit an independent report to the Human Rights Council in preparation for Australia’s review in November 2015.

For more information see:…