There are very few avenues in Australia to challenge human rights abuses. Instead, those who experience them are left without remedies and are unable to hold their abusers to account.
This is because Australia is the only liberal democracy without a Human Rights Act, that protects our human rights in law. Right now, Australia’s human rights protections are found in a range of laws that don’t protect all our rights, and even pit them against each other.
This enables governments and powerful corporations to disregard our human rights when they create laws, implement policies, and deliver services.
Enshrining our human rights in law would safeguard them, and give us the tools to fight for them when they’re disrespected. And for the first time in nearly a decade, we have the chance to make this happen.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has voiced his support for a human rights act in the past. At a recent conference, he said that he will support a Human Rights Act when there is “such respect for human rights, that future governments won’t attack them.”
The Albanese government has promised to review the current federal human rights framework – with a view to legislate a Human Rights Act.
But we need to see these words turn into action. We need other MPs to add their voices, and call for the Albanese government to conduct their review into the human rights framework, and legislate a Human Rights Act – without delay.