Amnesty International Australia has welcomed election pledges from the new Albanese government on key human rights issues and have asked for swift action on ten key tasks.
In the first 100 days, Amnesty would like to see the new government action the following pledges already made by the ALP in its policy platform, listed in no particular order, as a matter of urgency:
- Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 nationally and establish the National Justice Reinvestment Unit, ensuring it is led by First Nations experts;
- Establish the process for real time national reporting of deaths in custody;
- Dedicate full funding for the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children as well as initiating a separate, self-determined National Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women;
- Actively lead on ambitious emissions reduction targets ahead of COP27 and work with Pacific Island Countries to address the climate crisis. As a first step, the Australian Government needs to urgently update Australia’s Nationally Determined Contributions to at least meet the commitment of 43% ahead of COP27;
- Abolish Temporary Protection and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas;
- Announce a timeframe to expand the Refugee and Humanitarian Program to 27,000 places and further reform the Community Refugee Sponsorship Program to be additional to the humanitarian intake;
- Ensure Australia is leading the strengthening of support for the biennial UN vote on the death penalty moratorium due again later this year – through co-sponsoring and building the numbers of co-sponsors for the resolution;
- Remove carve-outs that allow religious organisations to sack, expel or deny service to LGBTQ+ people and legislate a national ban on conversion practices;
- Actively advocate on behalf of Australians trapped overseas, including Chau Van Kham, Dr Yang Hengjun and Julian Assange;
- Improve COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution by co-sponsoring the TRIPS waiver at the WTO and expanding domestic vaccine production through extending the contract with AstraZeneca and CSL; and
- Establish a transparent and merit-based appointment process for the Australian Human Rights Commission to ensure its status as an A+ institution is maintained.
“Australians have resoundingly voted for a kinder country that puts the climate emergency, First Nations justice and women’s rights centre stage. Amnesty is calling for a national Human Rights Act, to protect the human rights of all Australians, and already has more than 20,000 Austraians who have joined this call,” Amnesty International Australia National Director, Sam Klintworth, said.
“The Albanese Government election policy commitments are simple, achievable steps on the way to a better, fairer country. We want the government to know that our movement and our supporters are watching and will be keeping them accountable to their promises.”
Amnesty International Australia will track the progress of the new government on the delivery of these reforms and deliver a report card after the first 100 days in office.