Australia's asylum policy criticised in human rights report card


Amnesty International has criticised Australia's record on asylum seekers and Indigenous policy in its latest report looking at the state of human rights around the world.

The Humanity in Review report calls on Australia to use its temporary membership of the United Nations Security Council and its presidency of the G20 to do more to uphold human rights.

It urges the Federal Government to end the offshore processing of asylum seekers and do more to address the over-representation of Indigenous Australians in the prison system.

Amnesty International Australia's National Director Claire Mallinson told SBS she believes the Government is currently failing to uphold human rights, especially in its asylum seeker policies.

"The people that we actually interviewed at Manus Island said that they would rather die at sea than be on Manus Island," Claire Mallinson says.

"The conditions were that bad and the human rights abuses were truly shocking that the team found there."

Interview: Amnesty's Claire Mallinson speaks to Michael Kenny

Claire Mallinson says the Australian Government needs to abandon its offshore detention policy.

She is also critical of Australia's response to the Syria crisis.

"In relation to Syria, despite the fact that 2.3 million people have now fled, mainly into Jordan and Turkey and Lebanon, Australia is only committed to take 500 refugees. Which is really a tiny committment," Claire Mallinson says.

"And of course, any Syrians who actually make it to Australia we're putting on Manus Island."

Source SBS

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