Friday, October 23, 2009

Human rights in Australia - “Let’s Act on it. Australia has spoken: give us a Human Rights Act.”

Following is media release from the Australian Human Rights Group, responding to the Brennan Human Rights Report:

"The biggest public inquiry in Australia’s history has recommended the introduction of an Australian Human Rights Act, in order to fix significant problems with Australia’s legal protection of human rights. The Australian Human Rights Group (AHRG) calls on the federal Government to implement this recommendation.

“The results are in, and they are crystal clear. 27 888 submissions, that is 87%, favoured a Human Rights Act. The sheer number of people who have taken part in the Consultation shows the strength of community feeling on this issue,” said Susan Ryan AO, Chair of the AHRG.

“Father Frank Brennan’s Committee has listened to the community and to experts on all sides of the debate. The Committee believes that a Human Rights Act is crucial to achieving balanced human rights protection in Australia.”

“The gaps in Australia’s human rights protection need to be filled. There is now a historic opportunity for the Government to act decisively on the community’s strong views, and take this crucial step in making Australia a fairer place,” said Susan Ryan.

“A Human Rights Act would bring important, practical benefits. It would make government more accountable and provide a tangible means of fostering social inclusion.”

“Countries that have the model of human rights protection proposed by the Brennan Committee, such as the UK and New Zealand, have seen significant improvement in services provided to vulnerable groups, such as people with a disability and elderly people.”

The Australian Human Rights Group calls on the government to introduce a Human Rights Act without delay."


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