The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) is an international agreement aimed at preventing torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. OPCAT places an obligation to establish a system of regular inspections to places of detention, with the aim of preventing torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
The Australian Human Rights Commission is calling on the Federal Government to urgently transfer any seriously unwell asylum seeker children – and their families – from Nauru to Australia.
The Commission notes several recent cases where the Federal Court of Australia has consistently found the health care services currently available on Nauru did not meet the needs of children with complex physical and mental health conditions.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released an interim report on how Australia should implement a major anti-torture treaty to ensure detained people are not subjected to ill treatment.
Australia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment (OPCAT) on 21 December 2017, commencing a three year period to establish how it will comply with its obligations under the treaty.
Three of our Commissioners have recently presented to the United Nations on the human rights situation in Australia.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane provided a video address to the Human Rights Council on March 19 about the “creeping tide” of racism.
He pointed out that xenophobia and hatred are resurgent.
“We have seen that when prejudice and intolerance are given endorsement in public debates, it can embolden a minority of society to vent their bigotry.
March 15, 2018
Everyone deserves the right to a healthy future and the opportunities this afford. We are very lucky to live in a rich country with a universal health system.
We are watched like never before. Governments, corporations and others are using new technologies to gather huge amounts of information about us. How will this unprecedented surveillance affect our human rights?
International human rights leader, Kenneth Roth, will consider this issue at a public event in Sydney. He will also discuss issues such as the global challenge of refugees and mass displacement, and the rise of populist leaders
Australia has taken the final step necessary to ratify and implement a major international treaty that combats torture and other forms of mistreatment. This is an opportunity to protect the rights of people who are detained in Australia for generations to come.
The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomed the Australian Government’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) on December 21, 2017.
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
27 November 2017
Chair and committee members: thank you for the opportunity to address you.
I am pleased to join you as Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner and as a representative of the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Racial discrimination in multicultural Australia
Australian Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow is calling on the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea to honour their international human rights obligations and avoid use of force on Manus Island.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has been monitoring the situation as it develops and has sought further detail on the events of today.
The presence of authorities at the Manus Island facility today is of particular concern to the Commission, which strongly supports the view of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, that violence must be avoided.
Ethics Training Day: Dealing with Vulnerability
Princeton Room, Bond University, 14 University Drive, Robina, Qld
I represent an organisation that works extensively with people who can be part of “vulnerable populations”. My background is as a human rights lawyer. While human rights and human ethics are not the same thing, there are some important cross-overs in how we work.