The UN Straight-Up Told The Government To Cool It With The Gillian Triggs Attacks

It’s a fairly safe bet to state that the Coalition Government does not like Gillian Triggs. Not one little bit.

The President of the Human Rights Commission has been a peculiar thorn in the Abbott Administration‘s side more or less from the moment they stepped into power, and particularly so ever since Triggs handed down the Forgotten Children report – a detailed, multi-year inquest into cross-party Government’s handling of children in asylum seeker detention that Abbott and co read as less of a damning report into the heavy mental and physical toll that holding children in mandatory detention for, on average, over 400 days is taking on some of the most vulnerable and at-risk human beings on the planet, and more as a clearly biased and politicised stab at the Liberal Party, who like in so many other areas of Governance failure remain completely and utterly blameless.
What followed was an extraordinary and borderline unprecedented political assault on the character of Triggs, launched by a Government who would have loved nothing more than to see her gone. In fact, several (at least alleged) attempts were made by the Coalition to either remove Triggs from her post – something that the de-politicised constructs of her position prevent – or to coerce her into stepping down.
In fact, such was the level of sustained and almost vitriolic attacking aimed towards Triggs, that the United Nations stepped in and asked the Abbott Government to call off their dogs, and issued a please explain over their treatment of the head of the HRC.
The UN sent a letter to Australia’s mission in Geneva this past February, asking for clarification on the reasoning behind the attacks, and criticising the Government’s attacking stance. It also asserted that the Government “halt the alleged violations and prevent their recurrence” in reference to to the actual contents of the Forgotten Children report – a report which the Government more or less flat out ignored in its entirety, and at least one senior Government official admitted to not reading beyond the cover page.
The response from John Quinn, Australia’s ambassador to the UN, contained the following statement.

“Though the government will not always agree with the Commission’s recommendations, it welcomes a vigorous and diverse human rights debate in Australia, and the Commission plays a constructive role in that debate.”

That from John Quinn in late April.

And yet this from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton a mere matter of days ago, again urging her to consider resigning…

“…when you reduce the position to basically that of a political advocate, I think it is very difficult to continue on.”

coupled with a statement issued by both Dutton and Attorney-General George Brandis that called her “poorly informed and foolish,” stated that she “should know better,” and again claimed that she had “conspicuously refrained from criticising” the Labor Government‘s failed border protection policies, despite the fact – re-asserted now, forever, ad nauseam – that the Forgotten Children report issued its findings from a timeline that covered more of the Rudd/Gillard years than that of the Abbott Government.

For as much as the UN asserts that the Coalition needs to have a Coke and a smile and calm the hell down, attacking Gillian Triggs seems likely to remain the a constant of an executive that would rather plug its ears and yell than actually objectively address its critics.
Photo: Ralph Orlowski via Getty Images.

via SMH & The Guardian.