NZ Govt cannot support Australia on UN Human Rights Council

With Australia due to get a grilling at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today, the Green Party is once again calling on the National Government to rule out supporting Australia’s bid for a membership on the UNHRC next year.

With Australia due to get a grilling at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today, the Green Party is once again calling on the National Government to rule out supporting Australia’s bid for a membership on the UNHRC next year.

Reports have emerged overnight of riots on Christmas Island after the death of an asylum seeker housed there. The issue of off-shore detention centres will no doubt be an issue when Australia appears before the UNHRC today for their Universal Period Review (UPR). UN member states are subject to a review every four years part as part of their obligations under the UNHRC.

“Today at their four yearly review, we can expect the UNHRC to grill Australia on its treatment of refugees, detainees, use of off-shore centres, their intrusive counter-terrorism laws and Aboriginal rights,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Marama Davidson

“Australia is breaching a whole range of human rights and while that continues, our Government must rule out supporting Australia’s bid for a seat at the UNHRC.

“Australia cannot flout international law and then be trusted to uphold those very laws.

“Also, the riots overnight show that Christmas Island is not a safe place for those New Zealanders, or anyone else, detained there.

“It might be a difficult conversation to have, but John Key must demand that Malcolm Turnbull bring New Zealanders detained in off-shore detention centres back to the mainland.

“Not only are those in off-shore detention centres away from family and their legal representation, they are also not safe,” said Ms Davidson.

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