OPCAT could revolutionise Australia's treatment of detainees

The federal government has announced it will ratify and implement the OPCAT treaty . Few people will have heard of OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture). It creates no new legal rights. Yet it could be the single most positive...
Monday 13 February 2017
Mr Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner

Australia's advance in the protection of human rights

Yesterday’s announcement that the Government intends to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – otherwise known as OPCAT - is the most significant advance in the...
Monday 13 February 2017
Professor Gillian Triggs, President

The AHRC and the Racial Discrimination Act: setting the record straight

Federal racial hatred legislation and the complaints-handling processes of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) are currently the subjects of an inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Committee’s ‘Freedom of...
Tuesday 7 February 2017
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

Sons, daughters abuse our most vulnerable

People react with disbelief when I recount examples of elder abuse that I have heard during my consultations.For example, at one community legal centre I was told about a son moving in to help his father renovate. The son sold the house, delivered...
Monday 6 February 2017
Dr Kay Patterson, Age Discrimination Commissioner

An equal playing field? I'd like to see that

On Saturday, thousands of Australians participated in a global Women's March for gender equality. These marches were a reminder of how far we have to go before we achieve gender equality. These marches were a reminder of how far we have to go before...
Friday 27 January 2017
Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner

We need a national picture of domestic violence homicides

AuthorsSex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and President of the Australian Human Rights Commission Professor Gillian TriggsIn March 2010, shortly after making the decision to leave her abusive husband after more than 20 years of violence,...
Tuesday 24 January 2017

Is jail the answer for Australian kids?

This year around 900 children and young people will spend Christmas in jail.More than 5 per cent of this population are between 10 and 12 years old and 74 per cent of this age group are Indigenous. Most have been charged or convicted with petty...
Thursday 22 December 2016
Megan Mitchell, Children's Commissioner

Listen to us: we know what we need

Decades of reports and inquiries have largely echoed what Indigenous leaders have long asked for: we want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be at the heart of any reform agenda involving our people, says Robynne Quiggin.The 2016...
Wednesday 7 December 2016
Ms Robynne Quiggin, Deputy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

There's no excuse for child abuse

AuthorMegan Mitchell, National Children's CommissionerEarlier this year I visited the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin, along with a number of other centres where children are detained across the country. The purpose of the visits was to...
Friday 2 December 2016

Marriage equality: a return to substance over process

The debate on marriage equality this year has focussed on process: should parliament or the people vote on this issue? We now have a welcome move to substance.Six weeks ago, Attorney-General George Brandis got the ball rolling by releasing an...
Thursday 1 December 2016
Mr Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner

Pages