U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Australia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 January 1998|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - Australia, 30 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa4d28.html [accessed 23 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
AUSTRALIAAustralia has a federal system of government and a long history as a multiparty parliamentary democracy. The judiciary is independent. Federal, state, and local police are under the firm control of the civilian authorities and carry out their functions in accordance with the law. There were occasional reports that police committed abuses. A highly developed economy, which includes manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and services, provides most citizens with a high per capita income. A wide range of government programs offers assistance for disadvantaged citizens. The Government respects the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse. There were occasional reports that police beat or otherwise abused persons. The Government administers many programs to improve the socioeconomic conditions of Aborigines and Torres Straits Islanders, who together form about 2 percent of the population, and to address longstanding discrimination against them. Societal discrimination and violence against women are problems which are being actively addressed.