Australia's human rights record has come under scrutiny by the international watchdog, just as Kevin Rudd is preparing to use it as a key weapon in his bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

For the first time since 2000, Australia has reported to the Human Rights Committee, who track compliance with international treaties. While K-Rudd was at the White House, experts in New York's UN building posed hard questions on issues including the Northern Territory intervention, disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians, mandatory immigration detention, and the excessive use of police force -- giving the example of a 15-year-old fatally shot in Melbourne.