Canberra’s human rights violations deserve wider international attention

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Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

China, on behalf of a number of countries including Russia, Belarus and Egypt, condemned Australia at the UN Human Rights Council on Friday over its serious human rights violations. China urged Australia to close its offshore detention centers and launch a comprehensive and impartial investigation into the serious crimes that Australian troops have committed overseas.

Australia’s human rights situation in recent years has been very worrying, including killing Afghan prisoners and civilians, establishing offshore detention centers for migrants, serious racial discrimination and the lack of protection of indigenous people’s rights.

It is necessary to let the international community know about Australia’s serious human rights violations and arouse widespread concern worldwide. What Australia has done is pure trampling on human rights. Australia has no moral basis to place itself on the high ground of human rights.

The protection of human rights is an international issue, as well as an issue that concerns the vital interests of people in all countries. Countries should have cooperated on the issue and effectively promoted the improvement of international human rights. However, Australia has been engaged in human rights confrontation, trying to use the issue to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.

Australia must realize that neither it nor several other Western countries can represent the whole international public opinion field. They do not have the right to judge other countries under the guise of human rights while blatantly trampling on humanitarianism themselves. Whether it is Australia, the US or other Western countries, they must also accept the supervision of other countries worldwide.

Australian political commentator Greg Barns said in an article in December 2020 that Australia is a nation “that has lost much of its luster in global human rights and values circles over the past 20 years.” Although offshore detention centers have been widely criticized by the international community and the UN has urged Australia to close them, Canberra has turned a deaf ear. The country has also ignored criticism of its indigenous people’s rights and has shown hypocrisy on international human rights and climate issues. And several rape allegations, including former Australian staffer Brittany Higgins’ recent allegation that she was raped by a colleague in the defense minister’s office two years ago, have rocked Australian politics.

“In terms of Australia’s serious human rights issues, first, China can propose the resolution to Australia’s human rights issues. Second, international society should require Australia to submit an annual human rights report for consideration by other countries. Third, there should be a special group sent to Australia to investigate human rights issues in the country and submit investigation reports,” Yu Lei, chief research fellow at the research center for Pacific island countries of Liaocheng University in East China’s Shandong Province, told the Global Times on Sunday.

China calls on the UN Human Rights Council and civil society to supervise Canberra to promote relevant procedures. The issue should be properly resolved under the UN framework. China’s statement at the UN Human Rights Council this time will attract the international society’s attention, and the above-mentioned three proposals can also help other countries to effectively supervise Australia’s human rights condition.

Canberra must bear its due consequences on the serious violation of human rights. Australia has always regarded itself as a victim of international disputes, but the world will eventually recognize the country’s true face as a perpetrator on human rights issues.

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