Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, is currently on a diplomatic trip to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States of America. Amnesty International is calling on the Minister to use the trips to address ongoing human rights concerns, and work with Australia’s partners to overcome and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, Amnesty International is calling on Minister Payne to raise the issues of:
- India: overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and looming human rights crisis in India is critical for the health and security for our region.
- TRIPS waiver proposal: Australia is one of the few remaining blockers of the important TRIPS waiver proposal. This proposal would go a long way towards alleviating the global shortage of COVID-19 vaccines.
- United States: The Biden Administration has made steps towards championing a human rights agenda, however, Amnesty International remains concerned about the case of Julian Assange, the use of Guantanamo Bay, and the use of the death penalty.
- Japan: Japan needs to take steps towards the abolition of the death penalty – in practise and in law. Whilst no executions took place in Japan in 2020, the death penalty should never be handed down nor enacted.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne should also use the trip as an opportunity to discuss human rights matters that require a global response, such as: the human rights situation in Xinjiang, Tigray and Myanmar.