Monday December 11 2006, 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"The $850,000 funding announcement for Human rights in Cambodia by Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Teresa Gambaro on International Human Rights Day 2006 is an example of gross hypocrisy by the Howard government, and it is meant as a "look over there but don't look over here for human rights abuses," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"$850,000 would provide funding for eight to ten staffers at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. This team could set out to assess Australian legislative circumstances and urge the Howard government to repeal a huge raft of amendments to the Migration Act so Australia does not undermine its human rights obligations in relation to asylum seekers and refugees."
"This team of HREOC staffers could recommend to the government to enact as a matter of high urgency direct and effective instruments that stop the gross undermining of human rights in the area of health, the undermining of a minimum standard of living and the erosion of human dignity amongst Australia's Indigenous people."
"This new team of HREOC Staff could work in many other areas - for example amongst young people of one-parent families, or those at risk because of unemployability after early high schools exits, and that's just to mention a few of the many areas where the human rights of Australians are placed at a risk by the Howard government," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"This government destroys the lives of those most at risk in Australia, but no announcements have come forth for the most vulnerable Australians on International Human Rights Day that can be applauded. The government has fallen well short of its minimum standard of Human Rights on Human Rights Day 2006, and the worst thing is that it doesn't give a rats arse about it." Mr Smit concluded.
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]