Human Rights Watch (HRW) slams Australia’s “appalling” treatment against refugees and asylum-seekers in its 659-page world report released this year.

HRW heavily criticises Australia’s policies on the issue of same-sex marriage, disabled and indigenous people, foreign affairs and counter-terrorism laws.

Speaking to, HRW Asia Division Deputy Director Phil Robertson said that Australia’s new counter-terrorism laws might imprison an average Australian for long term without understanding the reason why.

“Throughout Southeast Asian countries I cover, we’re seeing diplomats from North America and Europe looking askance at Australia and questioning whether human rights are any longer an integral part of Canberra’s foreign policy,” he said.

HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said that the human rights report should teach countries like Australia.

“Australia needs to seriously rethink its abusive refugee policies and take steps to restore its international standing as a rights-respecting country. Measures such as stripping citizenship from dual nationals without basic legal safeguards are major steps backwards for Australia,” Adams told,

The HRW World Report 2016 reviews human rights practices of more than 90 countries conducted last year. According to the official website of HRW, “the politics of fear led governments around the globe to roll back human rights during 2015.”