We rate the Turnbull Government’s progress on human rights in emojis

We asked the new Turnbull Government to make #10things for human rights a priority during its first 100 days – from tackling the high number of Indigenous children in youth detention, to legislating for marriage equality.

How would you rate their progress?
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Here’s how we rated them by emoji:

  • 1. Commit to ending the over-representation of Indigenous children in the criminal justice system by implementing national justice targets; and working with the States and Territories to support Indigenous-led community programs that help put young people on the right path.

Our emoji rating: neutral_face_emoji

Progress:

Amnesty welcomed the Prime Minister’s swift action to establish a Royal Commission to investigate allegations of abuse of children at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Northern Territory.

However, the Government is still not in favour of implementing national justice targets. Instead, they’re developing a “prison to work” package. Hopefully the package will reduce return-to-prison rates, but it won’t do much to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children locked up in the first place.


  • 2. Commit to a plan for increased funding of Indigenous community services to 2025, in partnership with Indigenous people themselves.

Our emoji rating:  neutral_face_emoji

Progress

The Government has not committed to any new funding for Indigenous community services. However, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs – Nigel Scullion – did sit down with the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and the organisations who made the Redfern Statement to discuss their concerns, which is a good sign.


  • 3. Treat people seeking asylum with dignity, and support the creation of safe and legal routes for people to find refuge.

Our emoji rating:  crying_face_emoji

Progress:

The Prime Minister attended the Obama Refugee Summit in New York in September, but failed to show leadership or make real commitments to share responsibility for the global refugee crisis.

Australia maintains its harmful and abusive offshore processing regime despite mounting evidence of human rights abuses on Nauru and Manus Island. Boat turn-backs continued.


  • 4. Legislate to make marriage equality a reality.

Our emoji rating:  broken_red_heart_emoji

Progress:

The Prime Minister proceeded with fraught efforts to set up a plebiscite on marriage equality, despite a majority of Australians supporting a parliamentary vote on a Bill. Amnesty does not support a plebiscite and welcomed Labor’s decision to block it, but there’s more to be done to ensure equal marriage rights for everyone in Australia.


  • 5. Reverse the trend in national security legislation to ensure fundamental freedoms are protected.

Our emoji rating:  anguished_face_emojispeech_bubble_emoji

Progress:

The Government has made no effort to review or address ongoing privacy concerns relating to the national data retention scheme.  Laws to cancel the citizenship of suspected terrorists have come into effect, but we haven’t yet heard of cases under these laws yet.

Proposed new counter-terror laws would impose a continuing detention order to keep someone in prison after a sentence is served; and control orders proposed will apply to children as young as 14 years old (down from 16 currently). These proposed laws need serious scrutiny.


  • 6. Take a lead role in the worldwide campaign against the death penalty.

Our emoji rating: ok_hand_sign_emojiclapping_hands_emoji

Progress:

Australia is solidifying its position as a strong anti-death penalty advocate. It sponsored the World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo, which was attended by high level officials including the Special Envoy for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Commission.

Australia consistently supports the UN resolution to put executions on hold, and celebrates the World Day Against the Death Penalty. A new, more proactive strategy toward death penalty abolition around the world is being developed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


  • 7. Work together with other countries to ensure the Syrian people are protected and can access life saving humanitarian aid.

Our emoji rating:  neutral_face_emoji emoji_earth_globe_europe_africa

Progress:

Australia has committed $220 million in aid to help with the Syrian people over the next three years and has been engaging in ongoing diplomacy.

Despite these efforts, the situation in Syria has deteriorated further and horrific human rights violations have continued to occur with impunity.


  • 8. Ensure the Disability Discrimination Commissioner is fully funded and able to carry out their duties on a full-time basis.

Our emoji rating:  high_five_emoji

Progress:

The Government has appointed a full-time Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Alaistair McEwin, who started in July 2016.


  • 9. Increase funding for family violence services, particularly specialised services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Our emoji rating:  unamused_face_emoji

Progress:

Disappointing. The Government has failed to restore funding that was recently cut from these services, and has not announced any new funding.


  • 10. Work with States and Territories to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years of age, in line with international law and standards.

Our emoji rating:  disappointed_face_emoji

Progress:

The Government hasn’t made any progress on this, despite evidence of abuse of children in some of Australia’s youth detention centres arising since it was elected.


As we can see, limited progress has been made so far on the #10things, however there have been some promising developments.

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Stephanie Cousins, Advocacy and External Affairs Manager, Amnesty International Australia