December 19, Greg Barns, an Australian political commentator and human rights expert, published an article “Australia has no right to blame China on human rights issues” in the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.
Barnes was the head of the Australian Rights Organization. The article pointed out that Australia’s portrayal of itself as a “beacon of human nature” is a complete hypocrisy. In support of the view, the article lists three facts:
The Australian government has set up places of detention off the coast. In 2001, Australia established detention centers on Manus Island off the coast of Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and between 2001 and 2007, it “accommunicated” thousands of citizens from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka.
These detention places of detention are still in operation today. Although this practice has been internationally condemned and the Australian government has repeatedly urged the Australian government to end this offshore detention, the Australian government has ignored it.
When the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the question of torture pointed out that Australia’s policies are cruel, inhuman and degrading, then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, “I think Australians have had enough of being ‘classed’ by the United Nations.”
Second, the human rights situation of Aboriginal people in Australia is worrying. Indigenous Australians make up only 3.3% of the 26 million Australian population, but account for 28% of the Australian prison population, making it the most imprisoned race in the world. The health and education situation of Aboriginal Australians is poor.
The life expectancy of Aboriginal men and women born between 2015 and 2017 is 71.6 years and 75.6 years respectively, while white men and women have life expectancy of 80.2 years and 83.4 years, respectively. When the United Nations Commission on Human Rights condemned Australia’s poor record in the rights of Aboriginal people, Canberra and most Australian media also chose to ignore it.
Third, the Australian government has shown hypocrisy on international human rights issues and climate issues. Australia voted against the resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Palestinian self-determination and Israeli human rights violations in Palestinian territory.
In addition, Australia has been accused of using accounting tools and loopholes to reduce its contribution to global emission reductions.