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Australia-UN relations hit new low
7 May 2003
Australia's relations with United Nations human rights committees have deteriorated to an unprecedented level, according to a new report.
Leading public policy think-tank the Australia Institute has released the damning report.
The paper prepared by academic Spencer Zifcak analyses Australia's role in recent altercations with the United Nations.
The issues range from the Tampa and the Government's 'Pacific solution' to Australia's indigenous affairs policies.
Associate Professor Zifcak says the Howard Government has clearly moved away from international human rights law.
He says the Government is pursuing populist domestic politics and in doing so has attracted criticism from all six of the UN's human rights committees.
"There's clearly a substantial international disillusionment and dismay with Australia's performance on human rights," he said.
Professor Zifcak says the UN committees are in dire need of an overhaul so countries such as Australia can be more closely scrutinised and held to account for human rights breaches.
© ABC 2003