Report: Total Control: Ending the routine strip searching of women in Victoria’s prisons

Each year thousands of strip searches are conducted on women in Victoria’s prisons. Strip searches are invasive, humiliating and, in many cases, re-traumatising. They require women to strip naked in front of two prison officers. The Human Rights Law Centre reviewed six months of recent Victorian strip search register entries obtained through freedom of information laws from the two women’s prisons in Victoria.

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Report: Four Years Too Many: Offshore processing on Manus Island and Nauru

On 19 July 2013 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that no person seeking asylum by boat would ever be resettled in Australia. Every single person arriving after that date is subject to being indefinitely detained on Manus Island, PNG, or in the Republic of Nauru, under ‘processing’ arrangements between the Australian Government and those Pacific states.

Four years later, over 2000 refugees and people seeking asylum, including 169 children, still remain trapped in limbo on Manus and Nauru. In this joint report with GetUp we call on both major parties to form a bipartisan commitment to immediately evacuate the offshore camps and bring these men, women and children to safety.

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Report: Defending Democracy

Australian governments must act now to safeguard and encourage vibrant debate on matters of public interest, the Human Rights Law Centre said in a new report. This report is endorsed by Australia’s best known NGOs including Australian Progress, Pro Bono Australia, Oxfam, ACOSS, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Choice, Community Council for Australia, ActionAid, GetUp!, the Wilderness Society, the National Association of Community Legal Centres, Community Legal Centres NSW, Justice Connect and the Reichstein Foundation.

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Report: Over-represented and overlooked: the crisis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s growing over-imprisonment

The Human Rights Law Centre and Change the Record collaborated on this report to address the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.The imprisonment rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women has skyrocketed 148 per cent since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women make up around 34 per cent of the female prison population but only 2 per cent of the adult female population.

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Report: UN warns of diminishing democratic freedoms in Australia

Australia is failing to provide a safe and free environment for civil society and to ensure that people are free to speak out and peacefully protest on issues that they care about, said a UN Human Rights expert today. Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, has been in Australia for a two-week official visit, meeting with government, MPs and civil society organisations.

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Report: National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

This briefing paper is intended to provide background on the Guiding Principles and outline the case for the development of an Australian NAP. It draws on the experience of other states and on the significant work of UN bodies, civil society organisations and National Human Rights Institutions that are working to promote coherent and effective practice in the implementation of the Guiding Principles.

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Report: Upholding Our Rights: Report into police use of force

Reform of the regulation, training and monitoring of police use of force is necessary to enhance community safety and ensure Victoria Police comply with human rights.

Victoria Police use force, on average, every 2.5 hours. Almost three quarters of these incidents involve the use of capsicum spray. There have been at least 12 people shot dead by Victoria Police in the last decade, while numerous others have died in police custody.

Read the report here [PDF]

Read the background research paper here [PDF]

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National Human Rights Consultation: Engaging in the Debate

The Human Rights Law Resource Centre, in conjunction with leading Australian law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, has produced a comprehensive report to enable individuals and organisations to participate in the National Human Rights Consultation in an informed and evidence-based way.  The report is not intended to be a position paper or submission, but rather to provide information, evidence and background material. The report, entitled The National Human Rights Consultation: Engaging in the Debate, begins by outlining the arguments for and against a Federal Charter of Rights (or Human Rights Act).

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