Committing a crime does not mean forfeiting all human rights for the future

There has been considerable public interest in some recent findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission that the Australian Government is in breach of our human rights obligations. While, as President of the Commission, I seldom comment on...
Wednesday 14 January 2015
Professor Gillian Triggs, President

Engage with us, says Commissioner Gooda

It has been just over twelve months since Australia elected Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. It’s been a time of great expectations, anxieties and stress for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australians.During the 2013 election campaign, Prime Minister...
Monday 8 December 2014
Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

Beware of cover for making bigotry respectable

Islam isn't a race. It's a religion. Therefore, abusing Muslims isn't racist. The real racism is that we're not allowed to criticise Islam.This is the logic of many who are expressing hostility towards Muslims and Islam. Many have written to me...
Friday 21 November 2014
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

Applaud men who learn from their mistakes

I have been Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission for the past seven years. It is a job that takes me from 200 metres under the sea in a submarine, to the United Nations in New York, to spending time...
Wednesday 19 November 2014
Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner

You’re not a killjoy calling out racism

THE historian John Hirst has described Australia as a democracy of manners — we treat one another as social equals.We are certainly informal and familiar in how we interact. We sit in the front seat with a taxi driver, we rarely refer to people as “...
Thursday 13 November 2014
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

Walk in Another's Shoes? Reflections on Empathy, Power and Privilege

The idea of the recent Harmony Walk is based on a simple proposition: that people, from all backgrounds, can walk in solidarity. It's a simple proposition, yet a challenging task. Because solidarity requires compassion. Before we can walk with...
Wednesday 12 November 2014
Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner

The government should fix two free-speech obstacles together: 35P and 18C

The Abbott government should correct the festering sores of 35P of National Security Legislation and 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act together.Since the passage of Section 35P of the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill a number of...
Friday 7 November 2014
Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner

It's time for the transgender talk, Australia

The backlash against tweets directed at Catherine McGregor on Q&A last week should spark a conversation about transgender people in Australia. We must improve attitudes, writes Tim Wilson.We all need to learn something new for the first time, so...
Wednesday 22 October 2014
Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner

Speak up out of respect for rights and culture

To advance human rights we need to promote a culture of respect for everyone exercising their choice and freedoms. On a day-to-day basis, human rights probably appear abstract for most Australians.The term often gets raised in discussion about how...
Tuesday 14 October 2014
Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner

Even in pursuit of valid goals, let's stop sacrificing principles and...

In pursuit of legitimately tackling isolated criminal behaviour, Parliaments are reversing the basic principle of liberal democracy by criminalising the exercise of human rights and prescribing lawful activity.
Friday 10 October 2014
Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner