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17 Aug 2016

Amy Sinclair, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, on Guardian (UK)

"On corporate human rights, Australia's actions speak louder than words"

Leading civil society and business groups have independently released key reports on Australia’s compliance with international corporate human rights standards this month...[T]he Australian Human Rights Commission and Global Compact Network Australia point to the importance of a National Action Plan (NAP) for implementing these standards in Australia and clarifying the human rights responsibilities of business. A meaningful response from the government is essential if we are to break the cycle of corporate scandals that continue to afflict Australia. Ripcurl, BHP Billiton, Broadspectrum...and Wilson Security have all grabbed headlines recently – for all the wrong reasons. Whether it’s disgraceful labour practices, disregard for local communities or dealings with offshore detention centres, Australian businesses continue to be implicated in severe abuses that contravene international human rights law...Despite co-sponsoring the original UN Human Rights Council resolution, in reality the Australian government has been slow to engage. It has yet to take steps integrating the principles into national law and policy...