A human rights agenda for the next Australian Government

Amnesty International is calling on all parties and candidates in the upcoming Federal Election to show the leadership on human rights that we expect from one of the world’s most stable and prosperous countries.

With the leaders of the major parties due to face off in the first debate on Friday, Amnesty International has today published A Human Rights Agenda for the Next Australian Government, which outlines those human rights policy areas which must be addressed by our country’s next Government.

“It’s important that universal human rights don’t get lost in the noise of this long election campaign,” said Amnesty International Government Relations Manager Stephanie Cousins.

“We want to see candidates and their leaders demonstrating their human rights credentials by contributing new ideas and thinking about ways to tackle injustice in our communities.

“Political hopefuls should be driving the important human rights conversations our country needs to have, whether it be around criminal justice reform, making real progress to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, or forging alternative policy approaches to protect refugees around the world and on our doorstep.”

Stephanie Cousins, amnesty international

As part of its recommended human rights agenda, Amnesty International calls on the next Australian Government to:

  1. Address the over-representation of Indigenous children and young people in our criminal justice system
  2. Increase funding for the Closing the Gap programs, particularly Indigenous-led programs, and ensuring adequate funding is restored to ensure essential services are provided to Indigenous homelands
  3. Work to eradicate violence against women
  4. Support the creation of safe and legal routes for people seeking asylum – by increasing the annual refugee resettlement intake to at least 30,000 people per year and prioritising people with humanitarian needs in other migration streams (skilled, student and family reunion visas etc).
  5. Pursue efforts to ensure refugees and asylum seekers can access basic rights and protections throughout our region, including in Australia
  6. Immediately legislate for marriage equality
  7. Take a lead role around the world in the fight against the death penalty
  8. Work with other countries to provide a safe home for the people of Syria
  9. Ensure Australians with a disability have their human rights respected
  10. Increase the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to the international standard of 12 years of age so children’s rights are properly respected in the criminal justice system.

“We encourage the next Australian Government – irrespective of whoever forms it – to ensure human rights are a bedrock on which domestic and international policy is formed,” Ms Cousins said.

Amnesty International is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion to ensure we can speak out on human rights abuses wherever they occur

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