UN special rapporteur Juan Mendez said in a report that Australia was systematically breaching the Convention Against Torture by detaining asylum seekers in the disputed Manus Island center, as well as by holding children in immigration detention. The report is to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council Monday.
"I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly, particularly given that we have stopped the boats, and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea," Abbott said as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
According to Abbott, stopping the boats with asylum seekers is "the most humanitarian, the most decent, the most compassionate thing" to prevent people's deaths.
In January, some 700 Manus detainees staged a hunger strike, protesting Canberra's decision to resettle them on the island. The detainees said the local population was extremely hostile to them, and the resettlement could be dangerous.
Australian Human Rights Commission has criticized the country's policies on detention of immigrant children, saying that holding minors for prolonged periods of time had negative effects on their development, and violates international regulations.