Australia’s rights record
- There is a general consensus that Australia’s right’s record is quite good regarding human rights protections
- Our basic rights are quite well protected
- There is strong network of democratic institutions and principles (RoL and SoP)
- But our record is not perfect: what matters most is how Australia upholds the rights of the most vulnerable in the community compared to the majority
“As in the US, when it comes to humans rights protection in Australia, it is clear that the Parliament giveth, and the Parliament taketh away.”
– Natasha Stott Despoja (Democrats)
“Australia’s human rights reputation compared with the rest of the world is quite magnificent. I think Australia has an outstanding human rights record. I think we are an outstandingly tolerant people”
– John Howard
“It is beyond question that our current legal system is seriously inadequate in protecting many of the rights of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in our community”
– Brian Burdekin, former HR Commissioner
- Largely unhindered freedom of speech and political persuasion
- A relatively high degree of religious tolerance
- Government according to rule of law etc.
- Mostly non-corrupt government
- Fair, free and regular elections
- Social welfare
- Existence of statues and the HREOC.
Our human rights record is far from perfect.
- Significantly high levels of poverty and unemployment within minority groups
- Limited access to justice for poverty-stricken people
The experience of Australia’s indigenous peoples