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Race and disability now separate as UN turns eye to Australia

Race and disability now separate as UN turns eye to Australia

The government is reintroducing separate Race and Disability discrimination commissioners in the Australian Human Rights Commission.

THE federal government is reintroducing separate Race and Disability discrimination commissioners in the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland made the announcement today, ahead of Australia’s appearance before the United Nations Human Rights Review Council for its first Universal Periodic Review. The process involves a review of the human rights record of each member of the United Nations every four years.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland today announced the Gillard Government will restore the stand alone positions of Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners in the Commission for the first time in 13 years.

“Today’s announcement builds on the Gillard’s Government commitment last year to establish the first Age Discrimination Commissioner.

McClelland said increased funding will ensure the Australian Human Rights Commission helps and protect human rights.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Senator Kate Lundy, will lead the delegation before the UN Human rights Review Council.

“Australia has a strong human rights record and the Government welcomes the opportunity to discuss our human rights achievements and initiatives with the international community,” Lundy said.

“We will continue to engage with the international community to promote and protect human rights at home, in our region and in the rest of the world.”

Full-time Disability and Race Discrimination Commissioners in the Australian Human Rights Commission separates these roles for the first time since 1997. Both roles are currently filled by Graeme Innes.

“Commissioner Innes has been a strong advocate as both Disability Discrimination and Race Discrimination Commissioner,” McClelland said.

Innes will continue in this role until 1 July, when he will continue to work as Disability Discrimination Commissioner alongside a new Race Discrimination Commissioner.

The Government will call for expressions of interest for the positions of Age and Race Discrimination Commissioners shortly. The new Commissioners are expected to take office on 1 July 2011.


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