29 Apr 2014

Asylum seeker policies in breach of 7 international laws; report

9:25 am on 29 April 2014

A new human rights report by a Melbourne University says Australia's current asylum seeker policies and practices are in breach of at least seven international laws.

A chapter in the report by Monash University's Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, written by Azadeh Dastyari, says the violations range from political and social rights to refugee rights to the rights of children.

Dr Dastyari says the violations are very serious, and the government must be aware of them.

But she says the weakness of International law means there's not much that can be done about it.

"International law, when it comes to human rights, has very few effective enforcement mechanisms, so whilst it can be clearly pointed out to the Australian government that they are clearly in violation of many, many of their obligations and there have been attempts to draw attention to what's happening, and to shame Australia, but that can only take you so far."

Azadeh Dastyari from Monash University.