United Nations torture committee scolds Australia

UN releases statement urging Australia to address systemic issues with its indigenous population and illegal asylum seekers.

United Nations torture committee scolds Australia
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The United Nations Committee Against Torture has slammed Australia, along with Chad and Somalia, for its treatment of people.

The UN body put out a press release last week headed “UN Committee against Torture publishes findings on Australia, Chad, El Salvador, Malawi, Nicaragua, Somalia and Uganda”

In it, the committee urged Australian to raise the legal age of criminal responsibility, currently set at 10, so that Indigenous children were not “disproportionately affected”.

The United Nations committee said Indigenous people were at greater risk of being jailed and that Australia was obligated to find out why.

It noted that Indigenous people comprised 30 per cent of the country’s prison population despite making up only 3.2 per cent of the population.

The committee urged Australia “to identify the root causes of the overrepresentation of indigenous people in prisons and revise regulations that led to the high incarceration rates”.

Root causes did not include the possibility that people were in jail for committing crimes.

The Committee against Torture also slammed Australia’s treatment of people arriving illegally.

It said Australia should abolish mandatory and indefinite detention of illegal arrivals. People arriving illegally with children should not be detained, it said.

The committee’s criticisms of Chad, for using lethal force against citizens, and Somalia, for staging public executions, were detailed further down the press release.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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