Date: 
Friday 24 November 2017

The Australian Human Rights Commission condemns any unlawful use of force, and calls on the Australian and Papua New Guinea Governments to protect the human rights of the men on Manus Island.

The Commission urges the Australian Government to ensure effective protection and safety for the men who have all now been relocated to new facilities.

“Australia and Papua New Guinea must honour their international human rights obligations and ensure that these people are being housed in a humane and safe environment,” said the Commission’s President, Professor Rosalind Croucher.

Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow, the Commission’s spokesperson on immigration issues, said:  “Many of these men have complex mental and physical health needs.

“Their human rights to adequate health care and security must be upheld wherever they are located.

“The UN Human Rights Committee recently reaffirmed the Australian Government has obligations to protect the basic human rights of these vulnerable people under international law,” Commissioner Santow said.

The Commission is disturbed by footage aired today by Australian media that appears to show force and threatening behaviour being used against men at the former regional processing centre on Manus Island.

Media contact: Rania Spooner, 0419258597, rania.spooner@humanrights.gov.au