26 September 2023

COVID travel ban raises Human Rights concerns

Start the conversation

The travel ban on Australian citizens returning from India, which includes criminal sanctions under the Biosecurity Act 2015, has raised serious human rights concerns according to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

In a statement, the Commission said it supported the continuation of aid to the Indian Government as it coped with the current COVID-19 crisis, but it held deep concerns about the “extraordinary” new restrictions on Australians returning to Australia from India.

“The need for such restrictions must be publicly justified,” the AHRC said.

“The Government must show that these measures are not discriminatory and the only suitable way of dealing with the threat to public health,” it said.

“The Commission urges Parliament’s Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 to review these new restrictions immediately.”

The AHRC said it was approaching the Federal Government directly with its concerns.

The Commission said it had previously provided a detailed analysis of the human rights implications of COVID-19 emergency measures, and what principles were important to consider.

It said its analysis found that emergency measures must be prescribed by law; necessary and proportionate; justified and regularly scrutinised; temporary; and non-discriminatory.

The Commission’s COVID-19 emergency measures analysis can be accessed on its website at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.