Australia is accountable

Dear Prime Minister,

How many times must you be told that Australia is accountable for the 1500+ asylum seekers held in offshore detention before you will act to free them? This time it is the United Nations committee examining whether we comply with the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that has told us so. The committee expressed alarm at

the harsh conditions prevailing in Australia’s offshore detention centres, including acute isolation, overcrowding, allegations of sexual abuse by service providers, as well as reports of repeated incidence of suicide and self-harm among asylum seekers.

In the preamble to the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights it says in part

Considering that, ... recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,

Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights,

Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,

Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant,

Your government is required to abide by these ideals. And you as an individual are also obliged, as are we all. Offshore detention breaks everyone of these human rights. It must end now.