Human rights are my pride

Religious Discrimination Bill illustrates urgent need for Federal Human Rights Act

Amnesty International Australia today called for the scrapping of the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill and called instead for a Federal Human Rights Act.

“The fatal flaws of this Bill have been laid bare, as well as the discriminatory implications of the proposed legislative changes for the LGBTQI+ community. The Government should not countenance discriminating against anyone, particularly children,” Amnesty International Australia campaigner Lucy Kenny said.

“Despite proposed amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act, young trans people will still be subject to discrimination, and the Religious Discrimination Bill will only entrench this injustice.

“Any Religious Discrimination Bill must protect people against discrimination, vilification and persecution based on their religious belief or lack of religious belief without preferencing the rights of people of faith at the expense of the human rights of others.”

Amnesty International Australia has long campaigned for a Human Rights Act or a Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms for Australia to ensure that the fundamental rights of all in Australia are protected and appropriately balanced. The objectives the Act or Charter should contain as a minimum; right to recognition and equality, right to life, right to freedom of movement, right to privacy and reputation, right to religion and belief, rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of association, cultural rights (right to enjoy culture, declare and practise religion and use their language), right to education, right to access health care and the rights of children in the criminal justice process.

“People from all sides of politics are speaking out against the legislation as they realise that this Bill has the very real potential to cause much more harm than it was ever going to prevent,” Kenny said.

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