Australia implicated in UN torture report

2:36 pm on 9 March 2015

An independent expert has found aspects of Australia's asylum-seeker policies have breached the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

Australian media says a report addressing concerns about Australia's detention camp in Papua New Guinea, as well as amendments to maritime laws, is due to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council today.

Asylum seekers behind behind a fence on which a sign orders guards to carry the hooked knives used to cut the rope of people who attempt to hang themselves.

A sign on a fence orders guards to carry hooked knives used to cut the rope of people who attempt to hang themselves. Photo: AAP

It was prepared by the UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez.

The director of legal advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, Daniel Webb, says the report finds the detention of asylum seekers and conditions at the centre on Manus Island violate the convention.

Mr Webb says the torture convention prohibits subjecting people to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the report confirms Australia is failing to meet this basic standard.

The Manus Island detention centre has been the focus of ongoing detainee protests, including a fatal beating of an asylum seeker.

In February, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Canberra to reconsider its refugee policy.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs