UN committee supports right to return home for Australian Citizens

Seat0B

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Plus in the ABC radio interview, they were basically saying that the UN Committee said that all Australians have a right to return home and that the entry caps are not a proportionate health response.

However the Govt now has 8 months to respond. So not exactly a speedy outcome.

And also the radio interview today, the lawyer from University of Canberra also mentioned the related issue of the potential illegality of the exit ban/restrictions.
 

jakeseven7

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Mmm because the Australian Governement really listens carefully when we are criticised by the UN on human rights.... cough First Nations people cough
 
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moa999

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And no doubt staffed by UN members from countries where Covid is out of control, or from countries that have delayed the supply of the vaccine to Australia.
 

RooFlyer

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Mmm because the Australian Governement really listens carefully when we are criticised by the UN on human rights.... cough First Nations people cough

UN Human Rights Committee ... sorry, I can feel a fit of coughing coming on ... Egypt, Tunisia, Guyana, Morocco, Uganda, Togo.. and some others :)

The International Covenant of Civil and Politician Rights, which was appealed to, provides that "no one shall be arbitrarily deprive of the right to enter his [or her] own country". (My bolding)

I would say there was no 'arbitrary' deprivation. There was a reason, applied to everyone else (without a lawful exemption) - hotel quarantine caps, feeding into airline capacity caps. So whether or not a good reason, it wasn't applied 'arbitrarily' to the complainants.

SBS notes in the article linked above: One letter was shared online by Lionel Nichols, a barrister involved in the case. The letter states the request is an "interim measure", and that it "does not imply that any decision has been reached".

Just m'learned friend, the ever pompous Geoffrey Robertson QC show-boating (again), I reckon.
 

Seat0B

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Despite the tone of replies above, and Geoffrey Robertson's attraction to publicity, I for one am pleased to see someone outside AFF taking note of what is happening here.

Whilst we are locked away here, and my son living in Dubai cannot get home, he is currently holidaying (yes you read that right) in Uzbekistan this week, having skied in Georgia 2 weeks ago. He has had first shot of AZ, 30 yo and no problems.
 

JPo

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Despite the tone of replies above, and Geoffrey Robertson's attraction to publicity, I for one am pleased to see someone outside AFF taking note of what is happening here.

Whilst we are locked away here, and my son living in Dubai cannot get home, he is currently holidaying (yes you read that right) in Uzbekistan this week, having skied in Georgia 2 weeks ago. He has had first shot of AZ, 30 yo and no problems.
Agree. The government should justify why restricting the rights of Australian citizens by preventing them from leaving and making it difficult for them to return is a proportionate response to the pandemic, given the availability of other options such as establishing proper quarantine centres. The UN Human Rights Committee process, despite its limitations, will hopefully at least focus some attention on that question.
 

hb13

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UN Human Rights Committee ... sorry, I can feel a fit of coughing coming on ... Egypt, Tunisia, Guyana, Morocco, Uganda, Togo.. and some others :)

The International Covenant of Civil and Politician Rights, which was appealed to, provides that "no one shall be arbitrarily deprive of the right to enter his [or her] own country". (My bolding)

I would say there was no 'arbitrary' deprivation. There was a reason, applied to everyone else (without a lawful exemption) - hotel quarantine caps, feeding into airline capacity caps. So whether or not a good reason, it wasn't applied 'arbitrarily' to the complainants.

SBS notes in the article linked above: One letter was shared online by Lionel Nichols, a barrister involved in the case. The letter states the request is an "interim measure", and that it "does not imply that any decision has been reached".

Just m'learned friend, the ever pompous Geoffrey Robertson QC show-boating (again), I reckon.

Does that include foreign tennis players and hollywood celebs?
 

Seat0B

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Agree. The government should justify why restricting the rights of Australian citizens by preventing them from leaving and making it difficult for them to return is a proportionate response to the pandemic, given the availability of other options such as establishing proper quarantine centres. The UN Human Rights Committee process, despite its limitations, will hopefully at least focus some attention on that question.
Welcome to posting on AFF @JPo. You'll find we are not short on opinions here! And there is a lot of good advice around too.
 

Seat0B

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Does that include foreign tennis players and hollywood celebs?
Well they are mostly not Australians, and they have not suffered any arbitrary limit on their ability to enter Australia. In fact it has been pretty easy for various sporting players (tennis, cricket) and celebrities to enter here on the very flimsy premise that they are "essential workers". Try telling that to the various nurses, teachers and aged care workers (really essential workers) reported by the press during 2020 to be stuck overseas.

The only people who have suffered arbitrary limits (read HQ caps) on their right to enter their own country are Australians who are overseas.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Well they are mostly not Australians, and they have not suffered any arbitrary limit on their ability to enter Australia. In fact it has been pretty easy for various sporting players (tennis, cricket) and celebrities to enter here on the very flimsy premise that they are "essential workers". Try telling that to the various nurses, teachers and aged care workers (really essential workers) reported by the press during 2020 to be stuck overseas.

The only people who have suffered arbitrary limits (read HQ caps) on their right to enter their own country are Australians who are overseas.

I dunno if hotel caps come under the definition of arbitrary though? It's not like the Health minister just plucked a random number... he asked the states and they did the logistics and came up with a figure.

The only way I could see this as arbitrary would be a vaccinated person seeking to come back in but being denied. Where's the scientific basis for excluding such a person now, when we fully plan to do that later down the track? I guess the govt. could argue they want more Australians vaccinated first... but there'd need to be good evidence to support that.
 

jakeseven7

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Despite the tone of replies above, and Geoffrey Robertson's attraction to publicity, I for one am pleased to see someone outside AFF taking note of what is happening here.

Whilst we are locked away here, and my son living in Dubai cannot get home, he is currently holidaying (yes you read that right) in Uzbekistan this week, having skied in Georgia 2 weeks ago. He has had first shot of AZ, 30 yo and no problems.

Out of interest what’s been the main challenge for your son getting back from Dubai? We have friends who are based there who have managed to come back twice relatively hassle free. Europe is another case all together though.
 
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suze2000

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The only way I could see this as arbitrary would be a vaccinated person seeking to come back in but being denied. Where's the scientific basis for excluding such a person now, when we fully plan to do that later down the track?
As has been stated hundreds of times before, being vaccinated will not necessarily prevent you from catching covid.

It ONLY prevents you from ending up in hospital with it. Immunity from catching it is a bonus but not guaranteed, even with the Pfizer vax. That's the reason people cannot enter, regardless of status. Once the entire population is vaccinated, it may be reconsidered.

Personally, I strongly believe that the time of free and easy international travel is over, and we need to build quarantine camps at every entry point and enforce quarantine until this thing burns itself out. And I think we are only one year into a 5 year process.
 

MEL_Traveller

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As has been stated hundreds of times before, being vaccinated will not necessarily prevent you from catching covid.

It ONLY prevents you from ending up in hospital with it. Immunity from catching it is a bonus but not guaranteed, even with the Pfizer vax. That's the reason people cannot enter, regardless of status. Once the entire population is vaccinated, it may be reconsidered.

Personally, I strongly believe that the time of free and easy international travel is over, and we need to build quarantine camps at every entry point and enforce quarantine until this thing burns itself out. And I think we are only one year into a 5 year process.

Yes, I was of the same understanding as you, that having the vaccine won’t prevent transmission. However in the other vaccine thread it was pointed out by Princess Fiona and others that the recent evidence suggests vaccines do indeed seem to largely prevent transmission, as well as reducing severity.

As we build up more evidence, the caps necessitated by hotel quarantine may turn out to be unreasonable if either no, or home, quarantine would suffice.
 

RooFlyer

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The only people who have suffered arbitrary limits (read HQ caps)

Except of course, HQ caps are not arbitrary, either in their existence (based on health advice) or the number (based on ability to safely manage the virus within the hotels). In fact it could be argued that the numbers allowed into HQ have been too high, as the virus hasn’t been able to be contained there, in a number of cases.

In respect of the UN Human Rights covenant, the word ‘arbitrary’ means that the policy is applied without a known rule, applicable to all. That is, a person is just discriminated against, well, arbitrarily. You, you, you, not you... etc. Ie the rule applies to all comers except those with lawful exemption and even the sports and business people mentioned are not exempt from complying with the health directive, merely given a gazetted variation).
 

Seat0B

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I dunno if hotel caps come under the definition of arbitrary though? It's not like the Health minister just plucked a random number... he asked the states and they did the logistics and came up with a figure.

The only way I could see this as arbitrary would be a vaccinated person seeking to come back in but being denied. Where's the scientific basis for excluding such a person now, when we fully plan to do that later down the track? I guess the govt. could argue they want more Australians vaccinated first... but there'd need to be good evidence to support that.
I think the arbitrariness aspect of HQ is that nothing has changed in over a year now, when the government knows that there is a backlog - a reasonable approach would be to do something different eg the Wellcamp and Avalon proposals for expanded quarantine places, or look at technology solutions for home quarantine etc.
 

Seat0B

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Out of interest what’s been the main challenge for your son getting back from Dubai? We have friends who are based there who have managed to come back twice relatively hassle free. Europe is another case all together though.
Getting flights is the main issue. They keep being cancelled esp when Victoria closes HQ for weeks on end. He works in a law firm, and can't just take leave whenever he wants - he has to give them a bit of notice and fit around the court obligations. He has had leave approved twice for trips that he had EK flights for, but both flights were cancelled - not even bumped for people paying for J, just outright cancelled. As a youngster, he also can't really afford the $20k return that J tickets cost, although he is even starting to consider that.

Finally, there is the issue of 2 weeks HQ - his work is very reluctant to let him take 4 weeks off - 2 weeks for HQ and 2 weeks to visit family.
 

Seat0B

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As has been stated hundreds of times before, being vaccinated will not necessarily prevent you from catching covid.

It ONLY prevents you from ending up in hospital with it. Immunity from catching it is a bonus but not guaranteed, even with the Pfizer vax. That's the reason people cannot enter, regardless of status. Once the entire population is vaccinated, it may be reconsidered.

Personally, I strongly believe that the time of free and easy international travel is over, and we need to build quarantine camps at every entry point and enforce quarantine until this thing burns itself out. And I think we are only one year into a 5 year process.
Yes, for tourist purposes I can see where you are headed.

But for Australian citizens, well there is a right to unfettered return to your country. And that is being denied to many many Australians, whether they are "stuck" overseas, or expats who want to visit family members, attend funerals, weddings, births, etc. Actually, an Australian citizen does not, and should not ever, require a reason to come to Australia. Or to leave it, for that matter.
 

Seat0B

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In relation to the cancellation of my son's EK flights, he reported that he was fully refunded his money within less than 2 weeks on each occasion, so that at least is a lot better than many other airlines seem to be managing at the moment.

And in relation to his work and reluctance about 2 weeks HQ, it is because most other places are not requiring this - although the UK does now have UAE on the red list and maybe once this affects the (mainly UK) partners wanting to go home to their families, their attitude might change. It's even worse, because his employment contract includes a trip home every year at employer expense - but only economy, as he is junior.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I think the arbitrariness aspect of HQ is that nothing has changed in over a year now, when the government knows that there is a backlog - a reasonable approach would be to do something different eg the Wellcamp and Avalon proposals for expanded quarantine places, or look at technology solutions for home quarantine etc.

Potentially. Although I think the first 12 months were a 'fair enough' case of waiting to see what happened.

Most people didn't think a vaccine would be possible under five years, yet we have several. We could have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building quarantine facilities that probably won't be required if the vaccine program can be rolled out with any sort of efficiency, or alternatives such as home Q implemented. Those $$ have gone to other programs such as jobkeeper.
 

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