Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 28th Regular Session

Clustered Interactive Dialogue - Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

Australian statement

9 March 2015

Thank you Madam Vice President

Australia takes it obligations under the Convention Against Torture very seriously. Australia rejects the conclusions of the Special Rapporteur that Australia’s treatment of irregular maritime arrivals in detention breaches international conventions.

Australia ensures that irregular maritime arrivals, including children, are treated with respect, dignity and their human rights are protected. Australia is meeting all its international obligations and, with other regional nations, provides a range of services to people who have attempted to enter Australia irregularly. While doing so, Australia has also worked to stop deaths at sea and the human rights abuses which arise from people smuggling.

From a procedural point of view, we also take issue with the Special Rapporteur’s presumptions in relation to matters still before the Australian courts.

Let me also add that Australia appeared before the Committee Against Torture in November 2014 where we provided a comprehensive explanation of our policies on a range of issues and elaborated on how we meet our obligations under the Convention Against Torture.