(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.
GENEVA (7 October 2016) – The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has published its findings on the following countries which it examined during its latest session from 13 to 30 September in Geneva: Nauru, Sierra Leone, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Suriname.
The findings cover how the respective State is doing with regard to children’s rights, detailing positive developments, main areas of concern, and recommendations for action. The findings, officially known as concluding observations, can be found here
GENEVA (7 September 2016) – Children’s rights in Nauru will be reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 13 and 14 September in sessions that will be webcast live. Nauru is one of the 196 States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and so is required to be reviewed regularly by the Committee of 18 independent experts.
Among the possible issues to be discussed between Committee members and a government delegation from Nauru are:
- Taking the best interests of the child into account in decisions regarding asylum-seeking and refugee children;
- Implementation of the open centre policy for asylum seekers and refugees, including the current living conditions of refugee and asylum seeking children in the Regional Processing Centres;
- Availability of adequate health services, including psychological and psychosocial care, for asylum-seeking and refugee children;
- Measures to protect child victims and witnesses of sexual abuse and physical assault;
- Provision of sexual and health services, including HIV/AIDS services;
- Measures to implement the Juvenile Justice Bill of 2015.
4 August, 2016
Lautoka, Fiji – Twenty legal, trade and health department representatives from across the Pacific are in Fiji this week to examine the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) burden in the region and the role of the law in preventing and controlling NCDs, particularly in the context of developing coherence between health, trade and investment laws, policies and sectors.
The Law, NCD, Trade and Sustainable Development workshop, a first for the region, is jointly organized by the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from the Government of Australia.
Heart disease, cancers, lung disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the Pacific region with most Pacific Islands countries losing their productive citizens to NCDs.
SUVA, 14 June 2016 – The Government of Nauru has reinforced its commitment to children’s rights by adopting a comprehensive and forward-looking Child Protection Act.
Nauru’s Parliament passed the Child Protection and Welfare Act on 10 June, ushering in legal provisions for the welfare, care and protection of all children in Nauru, and for the enforcement of children’s rights under various international conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In announcing the new Act, Nauru’s Minister for Home Affairs Charmaine Scotty, noted that “The Act recognises the value of Nauruan tradition, culture and community values, except where such matters conflict with the rights of children as provided for in the Act. In doing so, the Government has made a strong commitment to the protection of all children in Nauru, today, and tomorrow.”
UNHCR is deeply saddened by the tragic death of the refugee who sustained fatal burns during the incident at the Nauru refugee settlement last week. UNHCR had been on Nauru undertaking a monitoring mission in relation to arrangements in place for the asylum-seekers and refugees transferred from Australia, and three staff were present at the site of the incident, though the man had not been interviewed by UNHCR or doctors accompanying the mission. Continue reading
Following the decision handed down by the High Court of Australia this week in M68/2015, UNHCR affirms its long-standing position that Australia maintains responsibility for the protection of asylum seekers and refugees transferred to offshore processing centres under the existing bilateral arrangements with Nauru and Papua New Guinea respectively, and that any such arrangements must meet the respective countries’ international obligations. Continue reading
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has reminded the Australian authorities that, under the terms of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Australia is a party, the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration when taking any decision concerning children. Continue reading