Australia told it sucks at this one important thing

While most of us would like the think the rest of the world sees us as an easy going and
Australia has been giving a talking to.

While most of us would like the think the rest of the world sees us as an easy going and welcoming country, it turns out not everyone agrees.

In a damning report handed down overnight, Australia was given a stern talking to by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) for the way it continues to handle anti-terrorism laws and asylum seekers.

Australia has very strict regulations around both policies, but the off-shore detention program in particular has stirred up debate and drawn criticism for a number of years.

Now the HRW has lashed out again, branding us “repressive”, “abusive” and a “failure”.

“Australia has a duty to protect the most vulnerable and I think it is failing in that duty, across the board,” Elaine Pearson, Human Rights Watch’s Australia director, told the Huffington Post Australia.

“A lot of countries are really concerned about Australia’s human rights reputation and the way in which it is failing to protect vulnerable groups including children.”

She went on the say it was the view of the HRW that the government was deliberately ignoring reports of abuse on Nauru and Manus Island and was dragging its feet on the promise to shut down the Manus detention centre.

“The people on Manus and Nauru don’t have more time to wait. They have already been there for three years in these horrible conditions,” she said.

“The government is not listening to criticisms on human rights.

“I think the government is stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the abuses that are happening in Nauru and Manus and that is despite the fact throughout last year we had countless UN agencies and independent experts all criticising Australia about the human impact of offshore detention policies.”

So does Australia need to clean up it’s act here?

Tony Abbott famously told the HRW to basically bugger off after they criticised our treatment of asylum seekers while he was in power and many are saying Malcolm Turnbull is taking a similar approach.

We’d like to hear your view on this big issue today.

Do you think Australia is violating human rights? Or should the rest of the world stay out of it?

  1. Ann  

    I also say bugger off hrw

    • Michael  

      i wonder what would happen if there was a war in this country & members of your family were killed , would’nt you try to get them to a safer place?mmmmm.

    • People also need to be very careful what they wish for, because what the government is doing to asylum seekers today, they may be doing to you tomorrow!

    • Allan Bailey  

      If the alternative is to face what Germany is currently experiencing then ….. no contest. Add this the fact that these people tried comming in through the back door ie …criminals …..and thes clowns get miffed because they don’t get preferential treatment.
      Be kind of interesting to hear what solution they would propose

    • Wick  

      Why Ann? Why?
      I’m sure you would be happy if they were looking out for you, if they saw you were suffering.
      Australia took an inhumane hard line against refuges so that Abbott could look good in his tough red neck stance despite how many suffered. “….throughout last year we had countless UN agencies and independent experts all criticising Australia about the human impact of offshore detention policies.”

    • Wick  

      Of Course Australia has failed in it’s duty of care to these vulnerable people, that is why the HRW , and (The) countless UN agencies and independent experts (are) all criticising Australia. I don’t believe Turnbull would fully support this, I believe this issue is still in the hands of Abbott and his crew, along with Turnbull’s balls.

  2. Karen  

    What say do we have in how other countries manage their policies? none. To the high on the hill, know it all, bleeding hearts from where ever land….bugger off ! This is Australia, we intend to keep it as Australian.

    • Susan Bell  

      What! You want to keep Australia as it used to be, a country nurtured for thousands of years by the original settlers the Aboriginals, oh oh my mistake you want us to be white anglophiles.

    • We may not have any say in how other countries manage their policies, but the LNP government sure does like to point out the human rights abuses in other countries, all the while trying to sweep their own human rights abuses under the carpet!

  3. Surely Australia also has a duty to care for its own people who are legally here and not bludging off the government or living on handouts?

    • Michelle Hartley  

      Like cutting pensions, medical and health services and claiming money from poor people who owe nothing in the first place? Australia has a duty to care for refugees under the UN resolution that Australia agreed to and signed up to that requires a country to repatriate all people that are displaced by the bombs dropped on them by the people who own the bombs. Why do you think that Australia is paying for the bombs that are dropped by US planes? Let me inform you, we are paying for the bombs because the US are smart enough not to, because they know the rules of war. Our stupid government does not get that by paying for the bombs, they are legally (and morally) requires to take the refugees into this country. If you don’t want the regugees, tell them to stop paying for the bombs with our money.

    • Helen Connor  

      Totally agree bugger off. We need the best for australia first & formost. If this mob hadn’t tried to sneak into our country in the first place they wouldn’t be on Manis Is. It’ s one thing to come here with money so we don’t have to keep you & another to come here with nothing & get welfare. Go home the lot of you if you can’t get a job & abide by our rules

      • Helen, no-one tried to ‘sneak’ into this country, they are legally entitled to seek asylum in any country signed up to the Refugee convention, so, no they are NOT illegal, read the relevant law. Also, we never hear about the refugees that get on a plane and fly into Australia, why are they not considered ‘illegal’? As for your comment re going home if you can’t get a job, really smart thinking not! Do you really think these people would leave their homes and families if they had a choice? Broaden your mind and have a look at the effect that constant bombing of civilian homes and people is having in Syria, and that is only one of the countries in a war zone! Also on the jobs comment, where do you suggest we send the Australians who ‘can’t’ get a job because there aren’t any jobs out there because the LNP government keeps allowing their donor mates to bring in 457 visa holders into the country on cheap wages instead of employing Australians!

  4. colin  

    how sad that two comments are 100% racist in their tone.. we do not need people like that pair here so maybe they should go elsewhere.

    • Dianne  

      They are NOT racist they are entitled to their opinion and we do need people like this pair to speak without fear of retribution on views and concerns that may not be the same as others so we continue to question where our Nation is going . WE do have a tight immigration policy but so do others in the HRW and we should be allowed to determine who comes here. Our laws are no tougher than other nations. I am not a racist but a realist

    • Valerie Bush  

      How are the comments racist…no race was mentioned? Most of these. Moments are pointed towards an Islamic ideology that has proven itself be be divisive and a major problem here and world wide….which cost the Australian community millions apon millions. It’s a concern for Governments everywhere, including other Islamic countries

    • Dianne, yes, they are entitled to their own opinion, but I’m afraid those opinions are very racist. Valerie, there have been Muslims in this country since before Cook discovered it and most definitely since white settlement, so please do not use the tiny Muslim population as a battering ram. Also, two of the worst massacres in this country were carried out by white Australians. The Australian community is spending millions upon millions of dollars to keep a couple of thousand people, of whom some 90% have been found to be genuine refugees, locked up in concentration camps where they face physical, sexual and psychological abuses. Vile, abhorrent and amoral!

      • Guy Flavell  

        “Muslims in this country before Cook discovered it” … PLEASE EXPLAIN Leonie ???
        “Genuine refugees” … who stated this as true? The HRW led by Saudi Arabia who are one of the worst human rights violators in the World.
        Your poor little detainees were simply criminals seeking to reach Australia illegally and bludge
        off our welfare system. We could have saved $billions in taxpayers funds by immediately
        returning them to whence they had come … sadly neither sides of politics were smart enough
        to implement this sensible option.

      • Elizabeth Litster  

        Did Moslems trade in Australia before Cook, maybe but exactly what did they trade with a group of hunter gatherers . Did they settle. No. Are you prepared to sponsor a refugee or refugee family in your own home. Pay all their bills and upkeep until they get a job? Considering that 90% of these boat people are still on welfare 5 years after getting here and many for life, you and your descents could be in for a long haul. Until you do that don’t preach.

  5. It is our business not the HRW, we did not ask them to come here, a lot have arrived illegally, so have to be checked out. There are a lot of homeless AUSTRALIANS, who are been left out, the refugees get a damn sight more than our own people get. They have a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and are fed. Our homeless get none of this, they have to sleep where ever they can, scrounge food where ever they can, they think they are lucky if they have a blanket to put over them in the winter. I don’t hear anyone shouting about them. Sorry but I think the government should get their own backyard cleaned up first.

    • Yvonne  

      I agree. Bugger off & mind your own business. We don’t give a hoot what you think!

    • Noel Wardle  

      Not one person has arrived illegally by sea, it is not illegal to seek asylum !! FFS ! Stop being a bigoted racist , every body gets the same welfare benefit whether they are asylum seekers or homeless, If you wish to blame someone take a look at the decrease in government funding and you will find that services can no longer deliver the quality of service that they used to be able to, due to having no money, no resources and in most cases not enough staff, Asylum seekers have to depend on charitable organisations simply to eat and multiple people share one house or tiny flat, the very people that you demonise did not choose to flee from their relative countries, they were forced out of their homes after families were slaughtered, cities destroyed and the degree of atrocities committed by extremist groups totally beyond comprehension, given the choice they would not have left their homes and countries, unfortunately for them there were no choices !

      • Guy Flavell  

        But Noel, we don’t want these people in Australia. They are middle-Eastern, mostly Islamist under
        the despicable Sharia laws and will no way assimilate into Australian society. I think Australia
        should be redirecting our foreign aid into establishing comfortable refugee camps in middle-
        eastern countries from where they can confidently return to their homelands in due course.
        I do agree that our legal immigration system should be concentrating on the desperately
        persecuted Middle-Eastern christian families trying to escape the vile Islamic laws. I’m sure
        that most Australians would welcome this extra burden on our welfare system without complaint.

    • Lindsay Baker  

      Genuine refugees are very traumatised people in need of a lot of help to transition into a new country and culture and to work through the effects of what they experienced.

  6. Robin Henry  

    I’m more concerned about the Saudi Arabian representative Chairing the UN Human Rights Committee. I’m more concerned that most predominately moslem countries didn’t sign the UN International Charter on Human Rights, but concocted their own version that predictably limits rights of women etc.

    What people overseas think doesn’t concern me greatly, they pay no tax, make no worthwhile contribution to Australia and then try to tell us what to do. Many need to focus on cleaning up the issues in their own countries.

    • You’re right, Jan, we did not ask them to come here, but we sure as hell caused a lot of the issues that made them flee here by blindly following the US into conflicts in countries that we should never have gone into. The government, were it willing, could assist both the refugees and the homeless. Oh, wait a minute, they’re just in the process of sending out false debt notices to some of the most vulnerable in our society, which will cause even more homelessness and, dare I say it, suicides! This LNP government cares about no-one but themselves, the top 1% of the country and the big business donors who have paid no tax for years! You just have to look at the recent travel rorts to know they are simply there for what they can get for themselves! Vile and amoral!

    • Peter McKenzie  

      Im with you,all these people trying to dictate how we handle illegals. Ive got a idea, why don’t we tell them to check out human rights in China and all Moslem countries. I read recently that Pakistan has about 170000 slaves who are treated shockingly but not a word from these idiots.

  7. Kel Davey  

    These people pay heaps of money to scumbags to sneak in the backdoor instead of doing things legally. They refuse to learn our ways and our laws and try to inforce their laws on us. They think they are above our laws and customs. The aussie veterans and pensions are suffering financially, physically and emotionally while these people are given heaps when they do come out of the camps.

    • Please read the laws associated with the refugee convention, these people ARE NOT breaking any law and ARE NOT illegal. And no, they are not given ‘heaps’ from the government, which you would know had you gone to the relevant government website and read the information there!

  8. Susan  

    These people are so out of touch. we are actually admired throughout the world for our hard line on people smugglers and as we know these people who try to get to our shores by boat are not poor they pay sixteen thousand dollars each to the s top man in Indonesai and then this poor bloke with the rickety boat risks his life for. Few hundred dollars to carry thes people over here !,keep your nose out I say !!!

  9. Shaun Gill  

    What these self appointed moral authorities ( otherwise known as the hand wringing kumbaya brigade) fail to understand is that a sovereign nation has every right to decide what happens within its borders. As long as the majority of citizens/voters decide they do not wish to import crime and terrorism into their society well, guess what, that is their right. What the hypocrites at the hrw should do is concern themselves with the ongoing mutilation, enslavement, rape, murder, kidnapping and brutalising of women in Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, ISIS and every other islamist controlled region in the world. Until then, buggar off.

  10. Bruce  

    These people came halfway around the world through several countries that would have given them safe haven, yet chose to continue on till they reached Australia, which is basically the ends of the earth from where they come from. Why wouldn’t we think they were country hopping economic refugees. There are too many people getting easy access to university degrees such as law, and now they are trying everything they can to create taxpayer funded work for themselves, including representing these “refugees”.

  11. lynn  

    amen to all the above

    • Margaret Keable  

      Of course we are violating human rights and they have every right to criticize us. We have criticized other countries in the past about human right issues and continue to do so. There is the saying: he who is without sin cast the first stone. We should not criticize others’ human rights while we continue to keep genuine refugees in conditions that are worse than the gaols that we put our prisoners in. New Zealand has offered to take them but we wouldn’t let them go. Ghandi said a civilization is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable. We certainly treat our most vulnerable extremely badly. Refugees on the whole do very well when a country settles them. Much better than migrants in most instances. We should take the people that we are treating so badly. I cannot believe anybody can think it is good to have children remain in those conditions. Take them.

      • I couldn’t have said it better myself, Margaret. I cannot believe the number of racist people without a scrap of humanity that are in this country. But then, I guess, like the government, they see these unfortunate people, who are running from conflict that we are participating in in a lot of cases, not as our fellow human beings that feel pain, loss and fear, just like we do, but as anonymous numbers on some far off island, so for some reason they don’t count and a lot of people don’t give a toss that the LNP government is responsible for the physical, sexual and psychological abuse of babies, toddlers, children, teens, women and men by the very people who are supposed to be ‘looking after’ them. Vile, abhorrent and amoral!

        • Guy Flavell  

          Leonie, apart from a couple of the loony Greens, why aren’t any of our 150 parliamentarians
          backing up any of your pathetic claims ???

      • Pamela  

        Our immigration/asylum seeker/refugee laws are too lax and need tightening.

        There are hundred of people who went to the middle east to fight for ISIS, have returned and instead of being locked up or deported, are free to walk the streets.

        Islamists/moslems are the greatest threat to Australia and the world – Australia needs to be rid of them.

      • Guy Flavell  

        Ooh Margaret, that was absolute rubbish !!! Does it make you feel like a really ‘good’ person
        to believe such drivel ??? You obviously also believe that the 1000 odd sexual assaults by
        Islamic young men in Cologne on NYE last year was just part of their ‘healthy’ assimilation into
        Western society ? WE DO NOT WANT THESE SCUMBAGS IN AUSTRALIA !!!

    • carol  

      Bet there are a lot of countries that wish they had taken our stance

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