Human rights lawyers give Aussie governments a low grade

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights have delivered a report card on Australian governments performance on human rights. While the situation has improved upon its position from twelve months ago, it’s only been a marginal improvement from a D- to a straight D.

The organisation says there are still major concerns in the areas of indigenous rights, children’s rights, disability rights, freedoms and LGBTIQ+ rights. The lack of action lies not only with the federal government but also state and territory governments.

The legal organisation noted that Australian remains the only western democracy that does not have a bill of rights, or a specific human rights act.

ALHR President Kerry Weste said Australia seemed unable to move forward on the issue despite being a one of the nation’s involved in drafting the Universal Bill of Human Rights through the United Nations.

“As a nation, we can’t seem to move favourably in ensuring that basic human rights are established and protected for all Australians equally. COnsidering Australia has sat on the Human Rights Council for over a year now, our human rights situation is something we must address swiftly and comprehensively,” Weste said.

Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales all scored a D in the report. Western Australia and Victoria were given a C, while Australian Capital Territory was scored a B- and Queensland received a B+. Overall the country failed in the areas of indigenous rights and treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.  LGBTI rights were seen to have improved slightly scoring a D, whereas last year’s report scored a D-.

OIP Staff