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Rights Register launch focuses on child detention

A leading refugee advocate has used yesterday's launch of the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and PeaceHuman Rights Register, to caution activists and the Federal Government against using children for political objectives.

The director of Survivors of Torture, Paris Aristotle, has told an audience at the Diocesan Centre beside St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne that the Government needs to revise its policy on children in detention.

But he said the activities of a small group of people has at times been misdirected, especially during a protest by Woomera detainees.

Mr Aristotle also said that while the Federal Government has made some improvements to mandatory detention, replacing Woomera with the Baxter detention centre does not radically change the plight of detainees.

"Regardless of the improvements in amenity, the indeterminate deprivation of liberty and the relentless sense of oppression that inevitably ensues makes the nature of current detention policies psychologically corrosive for all that are affected by it," he said.

The Human Rights Register, which is facilitated by the Melbourne Commission, is an annual Non Government Organisation audit of Human rights developments. The Register records individual reports and accounts of developments and violations and analyses them in the light of the human rights conventions that Australia has ratified. It focuses on individual instances within Australia and contains reports from community legal centres, non-government organisations and the national media.

Each year the Register is used as a catalyst to draw attention to the state of human rights in Australia. At the Register's annual launch, prominent spokespeople recommend to the Australian community the areas of human rights law requiring greater adherence by Federal, State, and Territory governments.

A PDF copy of the Register is available for download.

Child detention policy needs revision: activist (ABC 28/2/05)

Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace | Human Rights Register PDF Download
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture

Melbourne Commission's register of fading human rights (CathNews 10/12/03)

Launch of Australian Human Rights Register (Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace/Rural Australians for Refugees 28/2/05)

29 Mar 2005