Next week Australia will appear before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (the CERD Committee). The CERD Committee is a group of independent experts who monitor and encourage governments to uphold and implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (the Convention).
The appearance by Australia’s representatives is overdue as Australia’s last review was back in August 2010. Australia has simply ignored the overdue report for some time, despite the Committee website stating that each country should report every two years.
It is most likely that Australia finally agreed to cooperate in this review because of Australia’s bid to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Now that Australia has been successful in that bid, Australia must uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights and fully cooperate with the Council.
Amnesty International has made a submission to the Committee for this review.