The United Nations have responded to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott claims that Australians are tired of being ‘lectured’ to after the UN released a reporting finding that Australia had violated the rights of refugees and anti-torture conventions.
“I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly, particularly given that we have stopped the boats, and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea,” the Prime Minister said on Monday.
The United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, who has overseen the report into allegations of torture and abuse in 68 countries said to Fairfax Media in response to the PM’s comments,
“I think we in the United Nations also deserve respect and I wish the Prime Minister had taken my views on this more seriously and engaged with my rapporteurship more constructively,” he said.
“I’m sorry that the Prime Minister believes that we lecture.”
The UN report found that the detention of children, increased violence in detention centres and proposed deportation of two groups of Sri Lankan and Tamil asylum seekers in Australia were a breach of Australia’s international obligations.
Australia is a signatory on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Refugees Convention, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Torture Convention.
The PM’s comments came after his attack on Australian Human Rights Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs, following the release of her report into the mistreatment of children in detention centres. The report documented the high levels of physical and sexual abuse suffered by hundreds of children in detention centres in Australia.