Tag Archives: #Detention

UN rights expert to assess situation of migrants in Australia and off-shore detention centres in Nauru

(31 October 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Australia from 1 to 18 November  2016 to assess the migration programmes, policies and laws developed by the Australian authorities in recent years.

“This is an opportunity  for me to understand how Australia manages its overall migration policies, and their impact on the human rights of migrants,’’ Mr. Crépeau said announcing his first information-gathering mission to the country following the postponement of his visit last year.

During his 18-day visit to Australia, the independent expert will meet with a range of government officials responsible for border management, civil society, trade unions, the Australian National Human Rights Commission, international organisations, and migrants themselves, to discuss the complex management of Australia’s borders.

Mr. Crépeau will carry out his meetings in Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, and in on-shore detention centres and the off-shore detention centres in the neighbouring island Republic of Nauru.

At the end of the mission, the UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference on 18 November 2016 at 10:30am, at the UN Information Centre, Level 1, 7 National Circuit Barton, Canberra. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The country mission report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2017.

ENDS

Regional Representative for the Office of the High Commissioner Visits Canberra

On the 14 September the Regional Representative for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Dr Chitra Massey traveled to Canberra at the beginning of her mission to Australia.
 
During her visit to the Capital UNIC Canberra arranged a diplomatic briefing during which Dr Massey spoke about human rights challenges across the Pacific. 
 
She spoke about a recent visit to the Nauru detention centre in mid-August, describing the negative effects of incarceration on the detainees, particularly on children. Asked to elaborate further, she said her office had noted cases of rape, robbing and brutality in the centre and the systemic self- harming practices including by children as young as six.
For the Regional Representatives audio interview on Nauru please go to: http://bit.ly/2cy1KN5

Briefing Note: Office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location: Geneva

Australia

We are shocked by the video footage that has emerged from Don Dale youth detention centre in the Northern Territory in Australia, showing children as young as 10, many of whom are Aboriginal children, being held in inhumane conditions and treated cruelly. Some children were held in isolation for extended periods, sometimes for several weeks, in hot and dark cells with no access to fresh air or running water. In one incident, six children were tear-gassed by prison guards. The videos, from 2014, show another child hooded and strapped to a chair for several hours. Others are shown being repeatedly assaulted and stripped naked. According to the children’s testimony, these abuses took place over several years. Most of the children who were held at the detention facility are deeply traumatized. The treatment these children have been subjected to could amount to a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, to which Australia is a party.

Article 37 of the CRC stipulates that “every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age.”

The announcement by the Government of an investigation into youth detention in the Northern Territory is an important step. We encourage the Government to extend the scope of the investigation beyond the Northern Territory in order to establish that such appalling treatment is not taking place in any other place of detention in Australia. We call on the authorities to identify those who committed abuses against the children and to hold them responsible for such acts. The children who were abused at Don Dale should receive psychosocial rehabilitation to overcome the trauma they have suffered. Compensation should also be provided.

We also call on Australia to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This important instrument focuses on the prevention of torture. Under the Protocol, Australia would establish a National Preventive Mechanism which conducts regular visits to all places of detention in the country. Events at Don Dale clearly show the immediate need to establish such a system of regular visits to ensure that what happened at Don Dale never happens again in Australia.

29 July

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org )

Nelson Mandela International Day – Monday 18 July 2016

Let’s mark Mandela Day by Adopting a Minimum Set of Human Rights for Millions of Detainees

GENEVA / KAMPALA / STRASBOURG / WASHINGTON DC (15 July 2016) – Speaking ahead of Nelson Mandela International Day, a group of leading human rights experts have called on all States around the world to implement without delay the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners: the Nelson Mandela Rules.

The Rules represent a universally accepted minimum standard for the treatment of prisoners, conditions of detention and prison management, and offer essential practical guidance to prison administrations.

“Speedy and decisive steps towards implementation would truly honour the legacy of the great Statesman and inspirational leader Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez; the Special Rapporteur on prisons, conditions of detention and policing in Africa, Med Kaggwa; the Rapporteur on the rights of persons deprived of liberty of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, James Cavallaro; and the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, in an open statement* issued today.

“Their implementation in prisons around the world would significantly improve the treatment of millions of detainees,” the experts stated. “At the same time, it is useful guidance to help prison staff deliver their important and difficult task in a professional and effective way, benefiting society at large.”