Nov 23, 2017

Manus: new Human Rights Commissioner pales against Triggs

The AHRC, and particularly its chair Professor Rosalind Croucher, has been negligent in its silence on the escalating crisis at Manus Island.

Greg Barns — Barrister and writer

Greg Barns

Barrister and writer

The unfolding humanitarian crisis on Manus Island, where around 400 asylum seekers remain in Australia and PNG's abandoned detention centre, attracts UN and NGO attention as well as daily global and domestic media. Given the human rights issues at stake in this battle – the latest being the involvement of the Australian Federal Police in an aggressive and violent attempt to remove the men from the centre, and the outrageous indifference of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to Australian Medical Association requests seeking access to Manus Island so it might dispense urgent medical care – one would have thought the Australian Human Rights Commission, the national human rights watchdog, would be front and centre of a public campaign to remind the Turnbull government that it has human rights obligations.

The gross inhumanity of the federal government’s refusal to act urgently on the AMA request was made clear by AMA President Michael Gannon in an interview with the ABC RN Drive program on Wednesday night. Dr Gannon said that there is an extreme risk of cholera at Manus because there is no access to “clean water to prepare food in, to drink. If you've got unsafe toilet facilities or no facilities at all, then infections like this will take hold." 

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10 thoughts on “Manus: new Human Rights Commissioner pales against Triggs

  1. old greybearded one

    So Greg, where does the UN convention that the Caring and Upright Abbott, Abetz and co stand on refugees and political asylum? It seems very fishy that we need special rights for right wing bible bashing hypocrites.

  2. Peter A derson

    Croucher’s lack of response seems to me to be obvious: the inmates on Manus Is are the direct responsibility of the PNG Govt, an independent country, not of Australia; they have been offered alternative free accommodation of a standard far higher than 90% of the population of PNG (hence the animosity of locals) but having journeyed to Australia, successfully circumventing various countries en route (including in some cases same-faith countries), they are encouraged by well-meaning Australians to persevere in their attempt to jump the queue in their attempt to settle in Australia. If there is a case for the HRC to be involved in any issue in PNG, then priority could be given to the millions of local inhabitants living in conditions which some well-meaning Australian journalists ignore.

  3. bref

    Unfortunately I don’t think it’s puzzling at all Greg. The fact that she says nothing about Manus speaks volumes…

  4. zut alors

    Croucher understands the danger of sticking one’s head above the trenches having witnessed the fate of an emboldened Gillian Triggs. Although why anyone would accept the role of Commissioner unless motivated to fervently argue for & lift up the vulnerable remains a mystery.

    1. bref

      I’m sure the pay is very handsome, especially if you do nothing.

  5. 124C4U

    Croucher or cowerer?
    T’would seem that the LNP and Nausea Limited have got their message out loud and clear.
    if one wants to sup at the taxpayer funded trough, one had better toe the Party line.

  6. klewso

    Hand-picked cat’s-paw – she’s hardly likely to scratch the hand that plucked her, with this sort of outcome in mind?

  7. AR

    Can they not clean their own toilets?
    Or do they leave that to the locals whom they consider ‘moneys’?
    All of the Manus inmates have the option of a free plane ticket home or elsewhere plus several thousand dollars inducement, courtesy of the taxpayer.

    1. Pamela

      Clean their own toilets?
      With What?
      Fact all cleaning materials denied
      Fact no power or water to flush toilets

  8. Pamela

    LNP have appointed the Human Rights Commissioner of their dreams- one who is silent and invisible.
    Exactly where human rights are expected to be in this country with no act or legislation to ensure human rights are respected and upheld.
    Aboriginal deaths, incarceration and imprisonment attest to this as do the deaths in immigration detention, the brutality and family separation meted out to non- citizens who have no protection under the law.
    This commissioner will do very nicely for this governments commitment to human rights Thankyou.

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