Detention centres, prisons may be monitored

Australia has moved another step closer to ratifying an anti-torture treaty that will enable independent inspections of detention centres, prisons and psychiatric wards.

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) this week recommended that the Federal Government ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

The JSCOT recommendation is in line with the Federal Government’s National Interest Analysis, which also endorsed ratification of the protocol.

After tabling the National Interest Analysis in Parliament earlier this year, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said that ratifying OPCAT would ‘send a strong message both within Australia and internationally that Australia takes its human rights obligations seriously.’

PIAC and other organisations, including Amnesty International Australia and Civil Liberties Australia, have long urged the Government to take action on OPCAT.

In December 2011, a coalition of Australian human rights organisations sent a letter to the Attorney-General calling for OPCAT ratification. 

Related coverage:

Government moves a step closer to anti-torture protocol, PIAC, 17 April 2012.

More checks on detention, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 April 2012

Photo: Flickr

Pin It on Pinterest