Events in Australia
Introduction to the violations
Australia has a strong history of protecting civil and political rights, but severe human rights issues persist. In 2018, the government continued to hold refugees and asylum seekers who arrived by boat in Australian waters on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and on Nauru, marking more than five years since the reintroduction of its draconian offshore processing and settlement strategy.
In October, the Queensland government offered a human rights act, becoming the third jurisdiction in Australia to do so behind the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.
Australian states and territories set the age of criminal charge at 10-years-old. Across Australia, around 600 children under the age of 14 are jailed each year, mostly Indigenous. In March, the Northern Territory announced support “in principle” for the royal commission proposal to raise the age from 10 to 12, but at time of writing had yet to achieve it. In July, a review of Queensland’s youth justice system also suggested increasing the age to 12.
In April, the inspector of custodial services published a report into situations at Banksia Hill youth detention centre in Western Australia and found that two boys were apparently held in isolated detention in breach of the United Nations Convention against Torture.
Rights of Older People
the attorney-general declared a state plan to discuss abuse of older people, an important endorsement of the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission report that detailed cases of serious physical harm, monetary use, neglect, and exploitation of older people.
he prime minister announced the establishment of a royal commission into care for the aged following numerous reports of abuse in Australian nursing homes.
the Australian government inaugurated a modern slavery bill that would ask companies above a particular size to present yearly accounts about their supply chains. The bill, though, does not set out fines for non-compliance.