AUSTRALIA’S track record on asylum seekers and failure to raise human rights abuses with Asian countries has been criticised in a global report card.
In its 2014 annual report, Human Rights Watch accuses Australia of demonising asylum seekers trying to reach the country by boat.
“In 2013, successive Australian governments continued to engage in scare-mongering politics at the expense of the rights of asylum seekers and refugees,” the report says.
“(They) have prioritised domestic politics over Australia’s international legal obligations.”
“Australia also has been increasingly unwilling to publicly raise human rights abuses in countries with which it has strong trade or security ties, fearing that doing so would harm its relations with Asian governments,” the report authors wrote.