Rights and responsibilities 2014. Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
This submission responds to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Discussion Paper, ‘Rights & Responsibilities 2014′. The Paper seeks feedback on how effectively the Australian state and federal governments protect everyday Australians’ human rights and freedoms, which is to inform the future work of the Human Rights Commissioner. PIAC’s submission is based on its work with everyday Australians who experience disadvantage and marginalisation and who have direct experience of what it means to have their human rights infringed or their freedoms unduly restricted. In the absence of an overarching human rights framework, PIAC recommends that legislation be amended in relation to: anti-discrimination and religious freedom; the implementation of consorting criminal offences; access to remedies for discrimination; conditions in prison and detention; same-sex equality; and changes to the Commonwealth freedom of information regime. PIAC also points out the danger of closely linking ‘responsibilities’ with rights and the importance of the work of the AHRC in promoting a culture of rights and responsibilities.