Human rights should not end at the prison gate. Society must acknowledge that people who go to prison are also members of the community, and almost all will be released.

The Australian Prisoners Union was founded in 1999 with the spirit of the solidarity and self-determination principles of the trade union movement. It received statements of support from many organisations including unions, church bodies, indigenous organisations, legal bodies, MPs and most importantly, from prisoners inside the system.


While it has not previously sought official recognition as a registered union, we believe the time has come to change that!.


The imminent disaster of COVID infecting prisoners, along with Australia’s implementation of OPCAT* from January 2022 presents us with a unique need and opportunity. The APU will defend the rights of detainees by helping to monitor their human rights and treatment under the OPCAT regime.

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