Wednesday, February 05, 2014

How convenient...

Earlier in the week the Australian Human Rights Commission launched an inquiry into the welfare of children in Australia's refugee gulag in Nauru. The inquiry would require visiting the camps in Nauru to investigate the conditions there and their effects on child detainees. But the Australian government has vetoed the plan:

The President of Australia's Human Rights Commission says she has been barred from entering Nauru to visit children detained in Canberra's asylum seeker camps.

The Commission has launched an inquiry into the impact of detention on the health, well-being and development of children in the camps.

But Professor Gillian Triggs says her jurisdiction doesn't extend to other countries, which is the reason Australia's immigration minister, Scott Morrison, has given for not letting her go to Nauru to investigate.

How convenient. You'd almost think the Australian government didn't want them to investigate what it was doing to children. But while they've succeeded in limiting the ability of the HRC to investigate, they've done so at the cost of fatally undermining its independence and credibility - and by extension, their own credibility on human rights issues. Now Australia looks like Soviet Russia on human rights. Tony Abbot and his racist, abusive government might not care about that - but hopefully Australians will.