November 9, 2015
As delivered by Divya Khosla
The United States warmly welcomes the Australian delegation to the UPR Working Group.
We recognize Australia’s robust history of protecting its citizens’ civil and political rights. We encourage Australia to ensure humane treatment and respect for the human rights of asylum seekers, including those processed offshore in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
The United States applauds Australia’s serious efforts to promote human rights for all Australians and recent advancements on indigenous rights. We note the concerns of some remote Western Australian indigenous peoples about the future of government support for their communities. We welcome the 100 million Australian dollar package announced in September to address domestic violence in Australia, an issue that disproportionately affects indigenous peoples.
Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend Australia:
- Closely monitor the processing of refugees and asylum seekers in offshore centers to ensure that their human rights are respected.
- Ensure that indigenous peoples are consulted when considering the viability of remote communities, and that those affected by closures of communities receive transitional support and unimpeded access to ancestral lands.
- Strengthen efforts to combat family violence against women and children, especially within indigenous communities.