background preloader

Human rights in Australia

Facebook Twitter

Human Rights Explained: Index. History of the Commission. The Australian Human Rights Commission (formerly known as the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) was established on 10 December 1986 (International Human Rights Day) as Australia’s national human rights watchdog.

History of the Commission

With an expanded complaint handling role and a major focus on research and education, the Commission replaced the previous Human Rights Commission, which had operated essentially as a part-time body since 1981. Three full-time Commissioners were appointed to the new organisation – a Human Rights Commissioner, Race Discrimination Commissioner and Sex Discrimination Commissioner – along with a part-time President. Australian Rights Timeline. Australian Human Rights Commission. Amnesty.org. Amnesty.org. In 1948, following the traumatic events of World War II, representatives from the 50 member states of the United Nations banded together to create a list of the rights everyone around the world should enjoy.

amnesty.org

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Under the guidance of Eleanor Roosevelt, then-first lady of the United States and a politician, diplomat and activist in her own right, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was born. Agenda for racial equality 2012-2016 - Timeline. Timeline 1606 – First recorded contact between Aboriginal peoples and Dutch traders. 1788 – The First Fleet arrives, marking the start of European colonisation of Australia on the basis that the land belongs to no-one (‘terra nullius’). 1839 – The first refugees arrive in Australia – Prussian Lutherans – who settle in South Australia.[83] 1850’s – The first gold rush brings large-scale immigration from Europe and Asia.

Agenda for racial equality 2012-2016 - Timeline

By 1861, there were over 38 000 Chinese living in Australia, 3.4 per cent of the total population.[84] 1855 – Laws in Victoria require Chinese arrivals to live in designated ‘Chinese Protectorates’. Other states soon follow with similar laws. 1863 – South Pacific Islanders are brought to Queensland (some forcibly) to work as labourers in cane fields. ^Top [83] Refugee Council of Australia, History of Australia's refugee program, (viewed 5 August 2012).[84] Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Immigration: Federation to Century’s End 1901-2000 (2001), p48.

Timeline - TimelineTimeline. Timeline: Immigration Museum. Ideas about whiteness and the value of racial purity inform restrictive immigration policies in the USA, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Timeline: Immigration Museum

Thousands of British children are sent to Australia, Rhodesia, Canada and the USA, whom Australia gladly accepts because of this desire for a 'white' population. These ideas are also used to justify the continued removal of Aboriginal children from their families. In Germany, extreme manifestations of policies of racial purity lead to the Jewish Holocaust during World War II. Timeline. Timeline: Australia's Immigration Policy. 1831 – 43 years after the arrival of the First Fleet and the beginning of British colonisation in Australia, the first assisted migration begins with workers from Britain encouraged to apply.

Timeline: Australia's Immigration Policy

Other immigrants follow that decade, including German Lutherans leaving their homeland in search of religious freedom and better economic opportunities. 1860 – Many Chinese miners take advantage of Australia's Gold Rush, but it causes tensions that come to a head in an 1860 riot. 3,000 European miners drive the Chinese off the Burrangong Goldfield in New South Wales. 1888 – Tensions continue over Chinese workers and in 1888 the Premiers of all the pre-Federation colonies (except Tasmania) agree to further restrict Chinese immigrants.

Timeline: Indigenous rights movement. Here is an overview of the Indigenous rights movement from the beginning of the century. 1901: Commonwealth of Australia formed.

Timeline: Indigenous rights movement

Indigenous Australians are excluded from the census and the lawmaking powers of the Commonwealth Parliament. White Australia Policy. Refugees and the Australian Government - International law & Migration Act. International law Australia is a signatory to the United Nations 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (The Refugee Convention) and to the subsequent 1967 Protocol.

Refugees and the Australian Government - International law & Migration Act

This means that Australia is legally obliged to develop law and policy in the spirit of The Refugee Convention, in both federal and state jurisdictions. Since the end of World War II in 1945, Australia has accepted more than 760 000 people in humanitarian need. Although the first groups of people seeking humanitarian assistance arrived (from Europe) in the late 1940s, Australia did not have a comprehensive policy relating to the status of refugee people until 1977 (when many people were arriving from the Indo-China region). More information. Immigration detention and human rights. Last updated 6 January 2016 The human rights of people who are in immigration detention are of special concern to the Commission.

Immigration detention and human rights

Liberty is a fundamental human right, recognised in major human rights instruments to which Australia is a party, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Refugees and asylum seekers. The following content draws upon, in part, the Joint Australian NGO Coalition's fact sheets prepared for the Universal Periodic Review.

Refugees and asylum seekers

Mandatory immigration detention The Migration Act 1958 requires all unlawful non citizens (other than those in excised offshore zones) to be detained, regardless of circumstances, until they are granted a visa or removed from Australia. Australian law also fails to protect unlawful non-citizens against indefinite detention, as time limitations for immigration detention are not codified in Australian law (Migration Act 1958 (Cth), ss189(1), 189(2) and 196(1)).

Conditions in immigration detention facilities have serious implications for the human rights of asylum seekers. Detention, particularly when indefinite or prolonged, has a detrimental impact on the mental health of persons who have suffered torture and trauma. Electoral Milestones for Women. Timeline - History of separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families - text version. Back to Bringing Them Home education module pages --> The history of the separation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families This timeline details the history of forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families.

Timeline - History of separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families - text version

Information is primarily taken from the findings of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, and from a wide range of other sources. Womens Rights. The following content draws upon, in part, the Joint Australian NGO Coalition's fact sheets prepared for the Universal Periodic Review. Equality laws Women's rights are not fully protected in Australia. Timeline: the women's movement. By Brigid Andersen Updated From Suffragettes to Spice Girls, take a look at how the women's movement has changed in Australia and around the world. Getting the vote Australia, the land of blokes and sheilas, was surprisingly progressive, and shortly after Federation the government passed an act to allow women to both vote and stand in the 1903 federal election. In fact, Australia was the first country to allow women to run for parliament.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The following content draws upon, in part, the Joint Australian NGO Coalition's fact sheets prepared for the Universal Periodic Review. In all social indicators, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples rate as among the most disadvantaged peoples in Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples rate far worse than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in education, employment, health, standard of living and incidence of family violence. They are also grossly over-represented in the child protection and criminal justice systems. Timeline: Recognition of Australia's Indigenous people. The omission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the nation's constitution in 1901 has led to more than a century of debate over how best to recognise Australia's Indigenous people.

The debate is again intensifying and a possible referendum to change the constitution is being discussed by political and Indigenous leaders. Here is a timeline that details Indigenous people's fight for recognition throughout Australian history. Warning: This article contains images and references to people who have died, and may cause distress to some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Constitution becomes law of the land. Aboriginal Australia. Aboriginal people have been living continuously in Australia for more than 50,000 years. The Dreaming is a western term used to explain the basis of Aboriginal spiritual identity. Gaps exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians in areas such as education, housing, health and employment. Constitutional and legal changes have affected the rights of Aboriginal Australians. School A to Z features links to third-party websites and resources. We are not responsible for the content of external sites.

Information Sheet - Social justice and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.