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New archbishop weighs into human rights debate

The new head of the Catholic Church in South Australia says the Howard Government needs to take a greater international role in the field of human rights.

On the eve of the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Archbishop Phillip Wilson has spoken out about Australia's human rights stance.

He urged the Government to recognise the plight of unaccompanied children in Australia's immigration detention centres. Archbishop Wilson says modern Australia can learn a lot from the attitudes and approach the country had at the end of World War II.

"People had a great sense that we belonged to a human community and in the wake of what happened during the Second World War people really were concerned to make sure that human beings everywhere were treated with dignity and respect," he said.

"It would be good for us to reflect on that and to reflect on the great leadership we gave in the post-war period to those issues."