ALA welcomes release of human rights report as COVID-19 response highlights inequalities

14th Apr 2020

A scorecard tracking Australia’s record on human rights principles has been released by the Universal Periodic Review NGO Coordinating Committee.

“We are proud to have contributed to the development of this report,” said Mr Andrew Christopoulos, National President, Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA). 

“It is timely that this report is released as Australia focuses on the challenging task of protecting human rights amongst the essential restrictions and emergency laws needed to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis.

“The health crisis facing the world at the moment has highlighted the importance of holding governments to account and advocating for the rights of people who might otherwise be overlooked in an emergency like prisoners, asylum seekers, people with insecure work and people without a permanent home.”

The report has been prepared ahead of a United Nations Human Rights Council review of Australia, which each member of the UN must undergo every four years.

“The report addresses many of the human rights issues that our lawyers advocate for everyday including access to the criminal justice system and the treatment of asylum seekers,” said Mr Christopoulos.

“We are pleased that our concerns regarding the Government’s treatment of Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery have been included in the report and will be considered by the UN Human Rights Council.”

Australia’s Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council will take place early next year. The NGO Report was coordinated by the Human Rights Law Centre, the Kingsford Legal Centre and the Caxton Legal Centre, working with an Advisory Group of 16 NGOs, and authors from 57 NGOs.

Read the complete report here.


Tags: Human rights COVID-19