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    May 22, 2018

    Responding to the news that a Rohingya refugee has reportedly died on Manus Island, Kate Schuetze, Refugee Researcher at Amnesty International said:

    “This is extremely sad and heartbreaking news. Amnesty International is extending our sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends.”

    “This tragic and avoidable death is the seventh death of a refugee on Manus Island and the tenth in connection with offshore processing centres on both Manus and Nauru. Australia’s reckless and cruel refugee policies continue to endanger lives and must end immediately.

    “The Australian Government knowingly sends refugees and asylum seekers to places that are unsafe and unsustainable. Enough is enough, offshore processing must end now before further lives are lost.

    “There must be an independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigation into his death, and the other two untimely deaths which happened in August and October last year. The Australian government must bring all refugees and people seeking asylum to Australia immediately, or to a safe third country, and offer them the protection they need and deserve.”

    May 18, 2018

    The Australian government is attempting to walk away from the human rights crisis it has created for refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) by winding back critical healthcare services, despite the ongoing plight of the people trapped in its offshore detention centres, Amnesty International said today.

    Over the past six months the Australian government has terminated trauma and counselling services for refugees and asylum seekers in PNG, and moved refugees to new detention centres where they have reduced access to healthcare.

    “Nearly five years after Australia began implementing its harmful and illegal offshore detention policy, the situation for refugees and asylum seekers trapped in PNG is as desperate as ever. Rolling back healthcare at this time is making a grave situation even worse,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    February 01, 2018
    New facilities unsafe and do not meet refugees’ basic needs Refugees say they live with constant fear of violence Australia must policy of cruelty and neglect

    The Australian government has abandoned hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers, leaving them in a situation that more closely resembles punishment instead of protection in Papua New Guinea, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

    Punishment not protection: Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea documents how, since refugees were forcibly evicted from a transit centre on Manus Island in November 2017, they have been moved to newer but inadequate facilities where violence from the local community remains a constant threat.

    “Moving refugees and asylum seekers from one hellish situation to another is not a solution, it is just prolonging these desperate men’s suffering. The new centres on Manus Island are not just a safety risk but also leave those who live there without basic services,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

    December 07, 2017

    In reaction to the Australian Parliament passing into law the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Amnesty International Australia’s NSW LGBTQI Network Convenor Lizzi Price said:

    “Marriage Equality is a human right and human rights should never be subject to popular vote. While we celebrate this amazing moment, we will continue to stand in solidarity with LGBTQI Australians and their families who have faced such a confronting and challenging experience throughout the postal survey. The Government should commit to never using such a process again.

    "This is a historic and long-overdue moment for Australia. This outcome is due to the hard work, determination, and courage of so many people. LGBTQI Australians, community groups, activists and allies stood up, spoke out and built an unstoppable movement for equality. For that alone, there is such a lot to celebrate here."

     

    For further information, please contact  Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    November 23, 2017

    Photo Credit: Amnesty International

    Download PDF of most recent update to UA 184/17 Australia

    184c Australia.pdf

    There are ongoing concerns for hundreds of refugees as authorities forcibly relocated men from the Lombrum detention centre on 23 November, three weeks after all essential services were shut down. These refugees and asylum-seekers remain at further risk of violence from members of the local community and security forces.

    November 23, 2017

    Responding to the news that the Papua New Guinea authorities have sent in immigration officials armed with sticks and knives into the Lombrum refugee detention centre at around 8.00am on Thursday 23 November on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, Amnesty International said:

    “The risks of serious injury if the authorities use force now is completely foreseeable. The government is knowingly placing the refugees at risk,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher who has just returned from Manus.

    “There is no justification for this action. International law and standards demand that refugees enjoy international protection. The country where they sought refuge – Australia - has violated their rights at every turn. PNG has aided and enabled Australia’s policy of cruelty and degradation of the refugees. Now the PNG authorities are putting their lives at risk.”

    November 07, 2017
    The current situation on Manus Island amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment Lives are at risk unless PNG authorities restore essential services As Australia continues to flout international law, all refugees and vulnerable persons should be resettled to third countries

    Critical services - including food, water and medical treatment - must be restored to the more than 600 refugees and vulnerable men inside the Lombrum detention centre on Manus Island before a major tragedy occurs, Amnesty International said today as researchers returned from Manus Island.

    Refugees and vulnerable men should not be forcibly relocated until such time as their dignity and safety can be guaranteed.

    “Today, Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court rejected a last ditch attempt by refugees to have these essential services restored and their rights protected. The decision is an abhorrent attack on the right to life,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

    October 18, 2017

    The civil engineering company Canstruct International Pty Ltd (‘Canstruct’) has taken on a toxic contract to run facilities on Nauru where the Australian government has trapped refugees in a system that amounts to torture, Amnesty International said today.

    Canstruct, an Australian family-run company, has signed a contract to run refugee processing centres on the island, where hundreds of people have been forcibly transferred after trying to seek asylum in Australia. Australian officials have admitted this system is intentionally harsh.

    “What is so deeply shocking is that Canstruct has taken on this contract despite a mountain of evidence which shows that Australia’s whole offshore processing system is inherently abusive,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Issues.

    “The company will provide the very services that sustain a system that keeps women, men and children trapped in a cycle of cruelty and desperation.”

    October 02, 2017

    On learning of the reported death of a refugee who had been held in the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island, Kate Schuetze, Pacific Researcher at Amnesty International said:

    “This tragic and avoidable death is the sixth death related to the Manus Island centre, and the ninth overall connected to Australia’s offshore processing regime.

    “Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has blood on his hands. This death proves, yet again, that offshore processing is untenable, and must end immediately.

    “This death comes only a few days after a small number of refugees were offered asylum in the United States, making the situation increasingly desperate for those who are left behind in Australia’s offshore processing centres.

    “Australia must immediately ensure the safety of all people held on Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The fairest and quickest way to ensure safety for all remains bringing them to Australia to process their asylum claims, and welcome refugees into our community.”

     

    September 26, 2017

    Responding to the news of the arrival of the first refugees into the USA from the Australian-run offshore detention centre on Papua New Guinea, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, Anna Neistat, said:

    “While it is heartening to see refugees who have endured so much uncertainty, pain and misery find safety in the USA, we cannot ignore those still mired in Australia’s cruel offshore detention system. There are hundreds of people, almost all of whom are recognized refugees, who still languish on Nauru and Manus Island. They, too, must be immediately moved to a safe country.

    “Australia cannot shirk responsibility. It is principally responsible for the harm it has inflicted on these people and has a duty to bring them to safety. However, if there are other countries who can step up where Australia is failing, then there may still be hope for the victims of an inherently abusive policy that has denied these people dignity for so long.”

     

     

    September 24, 2017

    It’s great to find businesses that support refugees and refugee issues. But that is certainly not how all businesses behave.

    For more than 1,000 refugees and people seeking asylum, the small pacific state of Nauru is an island of despair they’ve been deported to simply for seeking refuge in Australia. But for Spanish multinational Ferrovial, Nauru is a treasure island from which it is making millions of dollars.

    The system that Australia has set up on Nauru for refugees and people seeking asylum, including children, involves deliberate cruelty and amounts to torture. They are subject to humiliation, neglect and abuse, leading to poor physical and mental health.

    Ferrovial is the sole shareholder of Broadspectrum, the Australian company that runs refugee “processing” centres on Nauru as well as Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, and facilitates this abusive system.

    Please take action today and tell Ferrovial to end its operations on Nauru.

    July 27, 2017
      Spanish multinational Ferrovial continued to make millions from the abuse of refugees and people seeking asylum on Nauru and Manus Island in the first half of 2017, despite attempts to distance itself from Australia’s deliberately cruel refugee “processing” system, Amnesty International said today.   Financial reports released today show that between 1 January and 30 June 2017 Ferrovial reported revenues of €1.326 billion from Broadspectrum, its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary which operates Refugee Processing Centres (RPCs) on Nauru and Manus Island. Ferrovial also reported a 40.1% increase in revenues compared to the first half of 2016, largely due to Broadspectrum. Secrecy around the contract for running the RPCs allows Broadspectrum and Ferrovial to hide the exact profit they make from this abusive system.  
    June 14, 2017

    A landmark settlement that forces the Australian government to pay more than AUS $70m in compensation to nearly 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers for illegally detaining them on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island amid horrific conditions must lead to their safe resettlement, Amnesty International said today.

    “While the compensation deal is important, it does not remedy the injustices visited upon the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island or change their present circumstances. The Australian government must finally face up to the inescapable reality that their offshore detention policies are unsustainable and bring all of the people trapped by them to safety in Australia,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

    “While this settlement is long overdue, it is a welcome recognition of the harm that refugees and people seeking asylum have endured on Manus Island. Now, the Australian government must dismantle its illegal offshore detention centre and safely resettle these people.”

    April 04, 2017

    Released 00:01 BST on 05 April 2017

    A major corporation responsible for running the Australian government’s refugee “processing” centre on Nauru is making millions of dollars from a system that amounts to torture of refugees and people seeking asylum, Amnesty International said today.

    A new briefing, ‘Treasure I$land’, exposes how Spanish multinational Ferrovial and its Australian subsidiary Broadspectrum are complicit in, and reaping vast profits from, Australia’s cruel and secretive refugee “processing” system on the Pacific island.

    “The Australian government has created an island of despair for refugees and people seeking asylum on Nauru, but an island of profit for companies making millions of dollars from a system so deliberately and inherently cruel and abusive it amounts to torture,” said Lucy Graham, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Business and Human Rights.

    “By knowingly enabling the continuation of this system, which is specifically designed to cause suffering and deter people from travelling to Australia by boat to seek asylum, Broadspectrum and Ferrovial are unequivocally complicit in this abuse.”

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