The Prime Minister's pitch for UN Human Rights Council Membership appears to be operating in a parallel universe, the Australian Greens said today.
"Australia's own record of human rights violations is facing international condemnation like never before, and until the bipartisan race to the bottom ceases, the Government has no hope of making a persuasive case for Membership," Acting Greens leader Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
Senator Nick McKim, Greens spokesperson for Immigration & Citizenship, has added, "The Prime Minister has shown staggering hypocrisy by pitching for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council while his government is responsible for rampant human rights abuses on Manus Island and Nauru."
"Australia simply cannot be taken seriously on human rights while indefinitely detaining people who have done nothing wrong in appalling conditions in our offshore detention system."
"It seems his only motivation to join the Human Rights Council is to try to stem the constant stream of well-deserved criticism from the UN about Australia's immigration policies," Senator McKim concluded.
Senator Ludlam went on to say, "Australia routinely ignores or downplays human rights violations in places like West Papua, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, because it suits the Government's broader domestic and foreign policy agenda."
"Similarly, it takes high profile current affairs pieces to 'pique the Government's interest' on unacceptable rates of Aboriginal imprisonment and deaths in custody
"The Australian Government wants to take the lead on abolition of the death penalty and campaign on gender equity, governance and the rights of Indigenous people. These are noble ambitions marred by the Government's increasingly dystopian attitudes toward human rights at home and in our region. The UN won't be easily conned, and neither should Australians," Senator Ludlam concluded.