Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - UN Human Rights Day, which is celebrated on December 10, should generate a reflection on the respect of human rights in Australia, particularly against indigenous peoples such as the Aborigines and towards immigrants: says a note of the Australian Catholic Social Council (ACSJC), sent to Agenzia Fides. The note, signed by Bishop Vincent Long, President of ACSJC recalls that "little has been done to bridge the gap on issues such as life expectancy, literacy, employment" regarding the aborigines.
In terms of asylum seekers, Australia stands out for "prolonged detention in facilities off Manus Island and Nauru", where "a disaster for human rights" takes place, given the cases of child abuse, rape, violence and inhumane treatment. Commenting on the role of Australia in the promotion of human rights in the Asia Pacific region, Bishop Long notes that "there are many areas in which Australia can be a positive force", recalling the support for the global abolition of the penalty death and to address human rights violations against women and girls. Therefore, he concludes, Australia can promote human rights in the region with more conviction and "have more credibility when we exercise our leadership in accordance with our tradition and status of a welcoming and rich nation". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/12/2015)