Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Australia: Where Parties Stand on Human Rights

Human Rights Watch

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(Sydney) – Three political parties and two independents running in the Australian federal elections set out their human rights priorities in response to a Human Rights Watch questionnaire, Human Rights Watch said today. The parties gave their positions on a range of domestic and foreign policy human rights issues, including whistleblower protection and offshore asylum policy, in advance of polls on July 2, 2016.
“The parties’ answers on key human rights issues provide important insights into how Australian human rights policy could take shape after the elections,” said Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch. “We hope this information will be helpful to voters in deciding which party to support.”
The questionnaire was sent on April 27 to the three largest political parties (Coalition, Labor and Greens), all of whom responded. ...
  • What role is there for public – as opposed to private or “quiet” – diplomacy in promoting human rights abroad?
The Coalition said that, “Australia engages with the international community with active, practical advocacy, sensitivity and fairness, and a willingness to speak out against human rights violations and abuses… Under the Coalition, Australia will continue to play an active part in promoting Human Rights Council resolutions on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, human rights defenders, human rights and the internet, and civil society.”
The Labor Party said that they will privately and publicly raise concerns about human rights abuses in other countries: “private human rights diplomacy can be enhanced by, where appropriate, public diplomacy, advocacy, reporting and condemnation of human rights abuses.”
The Greens said that, “Australia should give much greater weight to public diplomacy in determining its human rights approach. Australia should speak more forthrightly about human rights violations in countries, particularly in our region and those with whom we have direct trade and political relationships.” ...

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