Submission: United Nations Committee against Torture

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) in regard to the Sixth Periodic Report of Australia.

Under Article 19 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention) the CAT is mandated to examine reports on the measures that State parties are taking to implement the provisions of the Convention. The CAT has a dual mandate:

  1. To undertake confidential inquiries when reliable information is received with well-
    founded indication that torture is being systemically practiced in a State party is received
    (Article 20, the Convention).
  2. To consider individual complaints in relation to the implementation of the Convention
    (Article 22, the Convention).

Australia ratified the Convention on 13 November 1980, yet still has a significant way to go with respect to meeting its obligations under the Convention. This submission focuses on key issues regarding Australia’s patchy implementation of its obligations under the Convention and calls on the CAT to consider the following key issues of concern during its review of the Convention and Australia’s implementation in October/November 2022:

  1. Mandatory indefinite detention of asylum seekers under Australia’s Asylum Seeker
  2. The gross rates of over-incarceration of First Nations people in Australia;
  3. Australia’s woefully inadequate juvenile detention regime;
  4. Prison conditions and preventive detention mechanisms; and
  5. The detention of people living with disability (including those in aged care)

For more information, read our full submission