Welcome to the Australian Human Rights Commission e-bulletin. Published fortnightly, this e-bulletin keeps you up-to-date with our programs, projects and news.
In this e-bulletin
- Magda Szubanski to host Awards
- Major launches on Children’s Rights and Social Justice
- Free speech
- Scanlon survey on racism
- 16 days of activism against gender-based violence
- Human Rights Medal finalists
- See below for more...
One of Australia’s most beloved actors and stage performers, Magda Szubanski, will host this year’s Australian Human Rights Awards on 9 December.
Magda is best known for her roles in Happy Feet and the Academy Award winning film Babe; as well as for playing Sharon Strzelecki on Kath and Kim, widely acknowledged as the most successful comedy in Australian television history.
As well as winning our hearts on screen, Magda is a passionate and high profile advocate and campaigner for LGBTI+ rights and marriage equality.
The impressive line-up for the Awards includes former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce and President Gillian Triggs. There will also be a special performance by Indigenous singer and songwriter Archie Roach.
The Commission is launching two major reports in early December.
Commissioner Megan Mitchell will launch the Children’s Rights Report 2016 on December 2, which includes an investigation into the oversight of youth justice detention.
On December 7, Deputy Commissioner Robynne Quiggan will launch the Social Justice and Native Title Report 2016.
This report includes a focus on the ways in which Indigenous people are setting the agenda and taking control of their own lives.
Register for the Children's Rights launch
Register for the Social Justice launch
Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow has written an article about free speech and the Racial Discrimination Act.
International law offers a sensible pathway to resolving the current debate about section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Freedom of expression is enshrined in article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. But article 19 isn’t absolute.
It can be restricted, for example, to protect the “rights and reputations of others”. Article 19 also has to be read alongside article 20, which prohibits “advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred”.
An increasing number of Australians are experiencing discrimination based on race, cultural background or religion, according to the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion report.
The 2016 Mapping Social Cohesion survey tracks attitudes on issues such as immigration, multiculturalism and discrimination.
At the same time, support for multiculturalism in Australia has remained high.
This year, 83 per cent of respondents agreed that multiculturalism is good for Australia. However, 20% of respondents experienced discrimination this year, up from 15% in 2015.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane wrote an article about the survey for the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Commission is supporting 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (#16days), a global awareness-raising campaign coordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership. The campaign is now in its 25th consecutive year.
The theme of this year’s campaign is: “From peace in the home to peace in the world: Make education safe for all!” Its’ central focus is gender-based violence in relation to access to education in public spaces, schools and homes.
The Australian Human Rights Commission also partnered with 1800 RESPECT to support their Australia Stands Together campaign against domestic and family violence.
The 16 days campaign runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November to International Day of Human Rights on 10 December.
Follow the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s social media accounts to find out how to support grassroots initiatives raising awareness of the issue of violence against women.
The Commission has announced the finalists for the 2016 Human Rights Medal.
They are: mental health educator Ingrid Ozols; human rights advocate Dr John-Paul Sanggaran; the chair of the Lowitja Institute, Patricia Anderson AO; lawyer Deng Adut; and disability advocate Paul Nunnari.
“I congratulate Ingrid Ozols, Dr John-Paul Sanggaran, Pat Anderson, Deng Adut and Paul Nunnari for raising awareness of the many human rights challenges faced by individuals and communities across Australia.
“At times it may seem as if these challenges are overwhelming. But as our Human Rights Medal finalists demonstrate, there are many practical things we can do and brave steps we can take to protect and advance the human rights of all Australians,” said President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs.
Recent media releases
- Human Rights Medal finalists announced - 17 Nov 2016
- Community Individual finalists for Human Rights Awards - 15 Nov 2016
- Innovative community organisations acknowledged - 14 Nov 2016
- Media finalists for the Human Rights Awards 10 Nov 2016
- Transgender Day of Remembrance - 20 Nov 2016
- National Faith and Civil Marriage Equality Forum - 17 Nov 2016
Get involved - upcoming events
For the latest media releases, speeches, opinion pieces, go to the media centre on the Commission’s website at: www.humanrights.gov.au/news and for events go to www.humanrights.gov.au/get-involved/events-list.