The Turnbull government has been accused of being spineless when it comes to calling out human rights abuses in Myanmar.
The United Nations Human Rights Council examined the humanitarian crisis on Monday night and heard evidence the Myanmar government was pursuing a starvation policy to force Rohingya out of the troubled Rakhine state.
More than 700,000 Rohingya people have poured across the border into Bangladesh refugee camps since last August following a military crackdown.
Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee said the atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority "bear the hallmarks of genocide".
The council was told elderly, people with disabilities, and young children have been burned alive in their homes and the military were involved in gang rapes.
The US representative said her country was "appalled by the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya".
Australia's official told the session the Turnbull government recognised the complex challenges Myanmar faces as it seeks to consolidate democratic reforms and to achieve peace and reconciliation.
Melbourne-based Human Rights Law Centre spokesman Daniel Webb travelled to Geneva for the hearing and said it was disappointing Australia's language wasn't as tough as the US and UK.
"Time and time again we see our government getting all mealy-mouthed about global humanitarian emergencies when the country in question has some connection with its own refugee policies," Mr Webb said, adding that about 200 Rohingya people were detained on Nauru and Manus Island.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is facing pressure to take Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to task when the pair meet on the sidelines of special leaders summit in Sydney this weekend.
Meanwhile, Australia's military is continuing defence cooperation with Myanmar despite the United Kingdom and United States issuing a ban.
Military assistance is worth almost $400,000 and involves training in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, peacekeeping and English classes.