UN’s New Human Rights Chief Raps Aus Refugee Policies
9 September 2014 at 10:36 am
The incoming UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein has accused Australia of violating the rights of asylum seekers.
A Jordanian Prince, Zeid al-Hussein used part of his inaugural speech to condemn Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.
He said the Federal Government’s immigration policies have led to human rights violations including “arbitrary detention.”
“I must emphasise that the detention of asylum seekers and migrants should only be applied as a last resort, in exceptional circumstances, for the shortest possible duration and according to procedural safeguards," Zeid al-Hussein said.
“Australia‘s policy of off-shore processing for asylum seekers arriving by sea, and its interception and turning back of vessels, is leading to a chain of human rights violations, including arbitrary detention and possible torture following return to home countries.
While criticizing Australia’s offshore processing of asylum seekers, Zeid al-Hussein, also challenged the Government’s plans to resettle refugees in other countries.
“It could also lead to the resettlement of migrants in countries that are not adequately equipped," he said.
“Human rights are not reserved for citizens only, or for people with visas.
"They are the inalienable rights of every individual, regardless of his or her location and migration status.
“A tendency to promote law enforcement and security paradigms at the expense of human rights frameworks dehumanizes irregular migrants, enabling a climate of violence against them and further depriving them of the full protection of the law."