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Call for Australia’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

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Let’s not wait another 10 years

The forgotten children, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2014 national inquiry into children in immigration detention, has come and gone. Its findings are clear and damning and should be a surprise to no one.1

A decade earlier, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission released its national inquiry, A last resort?.2 It is unacceptable that we might wait another 10 years before such gross abuses cease and people are restored to both health and justice.

Further, the United Nations has named Australia for its breach of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.3 The medical community has been made aware of our ongoing human rights violations over the past decade.1,47 Ignorance is not an excuse that we can cling to for being part of this national embarrassment.

What more could be done to make us pay attention to the need to move beyond the multiple peak body position statements? They are only useful in as much as they highlight the chasm between acceptable standards of medical care and what we know is being…