Security company under the gun for Manus activity
Rights group calls security company to account for violations in Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.
A rights group says the G4S security company needs to be held accountable for alleged human rights violations in the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea.
The Melbourne-based Human Rights Law Centre has joined a British NGO in lodging a complaint under the OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
As Koro Vaka'uta reports the HRLC is hoping to see the company face some consequence for its actions.
Rachel Ball is the Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at the HRLC. She says the complaint includes concerns over the conduct of G4S employees during the February riots.
RACHEL BALL: G4S employees participated in brutal violence against asylum-seekers and one man, an asylum-seeker was killed, another man lost his eye and another man had his throat slit so it was quite extreme violence perpetrated against the asylum-seekers detained on Manus Island.
G4S responded to the complaint via a written statement on its website.
"G4S Australia was only made aware of the Human Rights Law Centre's complaint at the same time that media became aware of it. We are still considering the details of the complaint. It would therefore be premature to address them specifically."
The company says it believes it has done nothing wrong.
"G4S is confident it has complied with all its human rights and legal obligations. It should be noted that the Human Rights Law Centre's complaints refer largely to the policy of offshore detention and to matters which G4S has no direct control."
Ms Ball does point out that there are issues that the Australian government needs to address.
RACHEL BALL: Arbitrary detention in Australia's immigration detention centres on both Manus Island and Nauru are illegal under international law and human rights monitoring bodies have found that conditions in these detentions are cruel and inhumane. So the regime itself is a violation of international human rights law.
But Ms Ball does say G4S remains complicit in these acts.
RACHEL BALL: The fact that the Australian government also bears responsibility for the detention, for conditions and for the violence that took place on Manus Islands, doesn't excuse G4S from it's own obligations. The fact is that companies shouldn't be entering into contracts that will inevitably lead to serious human rights violations.
The complaint relates to the OECD guidelines for best responsible business practice endorsed by nearly 50 governments around the world.
As a result of the action, Ms Ball says she hopes G4S address its wrongs and will ensure they won't happen again.
RACHEL BALL: The process could lead to mediation between the parties. The national contact point in Australia also has the capacity to make findings and recommendations and while these findings aren't binding they should be highly significant for the company's reputation and impact on its ability to get future contracts.
G4S security staff were replaced in the Manus centre in April by Transfield Services, which also manages the detention centre in Nauru.
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