Social Justice    AUSTRALIA FACES YEAR OF SCRUTINY ON RIGHTS
The executive officer of Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace, Ms Liz Curran, has indicated that the Human Rights Register it will release in June will contain many further allegations of injustices over mandatory sentencing, prison overcrowding, treatment of refugees and indigenous living conditions.
   The Commission's intentions were reported in a Sydney Morning Herald story on UN scrutiny of Australia's human rights standards.
   The UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination criticised Australia last week, and its Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will visit from 21 April to investigate possible abuses in migrant detention centres.
   Meanwhile, the latest US State Department's annual country report on human rights recently posted on its Web site sets out criticisms of Australia's treatment of asylum seekers and indigenous people. The report notes that while "the Government generally respects the human rights of citizens", the UN Human Rights Committee found three years ago that Australia had breached its international treaty obligations in detaining a boat person for more than four years.
   
SMH
27/3/00

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