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HREOC - Annual Report 2001 - 2002: Appendix 1: International Instruments observed under legislation administered by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Annual Report 2001-2002

Appendix 1:
International Instruments
observed under legislation administered by the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Act

The International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
deals with many human rights
and includes the right without discrimination to:

  • freedom from
    torture or cruel and inhumane punishment
  • equality before
    the law
  • humane treatment
    if deprived of liberty
  • freedom of
    thought, conscience and religion
  • peaceful assembly
  • a vote and
    election by equal suffrage
  • marriage and
    family.

The Declaration
of the Rights of the Child
provides that every child has the right
to:

  • a name and
    nationality
  • adequate nutrition,
    housing and medical services
  • education
  • special treatment,
    education and care if the child has a disability
  • adequate
    care, affection and security
  • protection
    from neglect, cruelty and exploitation.

The Declaration
on the Rights of Disabled Persons
provides that people with disabilities
have the right to:

  • respect and
    dignity
  • assistance
    to enable them to become as self reliant as possible
  • education,
    training and work
  • family and
    social life
  • protection
    from discriminatory treatment.

The Declaration
on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons
provides that people
with a mental disability have the right to:

  • proper medical
    care and therapy
  • protection
    from exploitation, abuse and degrading treatment
  • a decent standard
    of living
  • education,
    training and work
  • due process
    of law
  • review of
    procedures which may deny them these rights.

The International
Labour Organisation Convention 111
deals with discrimination in
employment and occupation. Australian adherence to this Convention
provides that all people have the right to equal treatment in employment
and occupation without discrimination on the basis of:

  • race
  • colour
  • sex
  • religion
  • political
    opinion
  • national
    extraction
  • social origin
  • age
  • medical record
  • criminal
    record
  • sexual preference
  • trade union
    activity
  • marital status
  • nationality
  • disability
    (whether physical, intellectual, psychiatric or mental)
  • impairment
    (including HIV/AIDS status).

The Convention
on the Rights of the Child
confirms that children are entitled
to the full range of human rights recognised in international law
(subject to limitations relating to their capacity to exercise these
rights and to the responsibilities of families). The Convention also
recognises a range of rights relating to the special needs of children.
It seeks to ensure that the protection of these rights in law and
practice is improved.

The Declaration
on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination
Based on Religion or Belief
became part of the definition of human
rights for the purposes of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Act on 24 February 1994. The Declaration recognises the right to freedom
of religion. The only limitations to this right are those prescribed
by law and which are necessary to protect public safety, order, health,
morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

Racial Discrimination
Act

The International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
aims at the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination in order
to promote understanding between races and provide freedom from racial
segregation. It is entered into force for Australia by the Commonwealth
Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in which it is scheduled.

Sex Discrimination Act

The Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

and certain aspects of the International Labour (ILO) Convention
156
are multilateral agreements adopted under the auspices of
the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1979. The Conventions
recognise the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
of women. The Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 implemented
the Convention into Australian law.