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Australia is failing to meet many of its basic human rights obligations - Report

Protestors holding placards are seen during a rally to protest against the Religious Discrimination Bill at Sydney Town Hall in Sydney. Source: AAP

A new report reveals Australia's ranking on the world stage is said to be 'mediocre' when it comes to quality of life, safety from the state and empowerment of its people.

The findings come from the Human Rights Measurement Initiative [HRMI], a tracker comparing the human rights performance of 33 countries worldwide. 

Indigenous Australians, refugees and asylum seekers are especially vulnerable to human rights abuses.

Cheryl Axleby, co-chair of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, says it's a centuries-old problem that contributes to continuing disadvantage.  Ms Axleby accuses Australia's leaders of showing a lack of commitment and leadership on Indigenous issues.

"There is a real... a political mentality that we are people that need to be fixed, and that we need to have decisions made for us. Our rights to self-determination are not fully embraced. What we need is continued leadership, and unfortunately we are part of the political football that's often played in politics."

The researchers hope the data will start a "race to the top", with governments working to improve their world ranking on human rights.

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