find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
UN criticism of Australian human rights record welcomed by lawyers

UN criticism of Australian human rights record welcomed by lawyers

Welcome, handshake

Lawyers who are part of a coalition of NGOs have welcomed the wide-ranging findings made by a UN committee about Australia’s human rights record and are calling on the government to address the nation’s poor scorecard.

Australia has been taken to task by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a new report released last month.

The committee assessed how well Australia has managed to meet its commitments under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), with the latest concluding observations less than impressive.

Certain “extreme concerns” expressed by the UN committee have been highlighted by Australian lawyers from the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) and Kingsford Legal Centre which, together with 46 other civil society organisations, prepared a submission for the committee ahead of Australia’s review.

One of the major criticisms contained in the report related to Australia’s treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and refugees and asylum seekers.

Commenting on the committee’s observation that Indigenous Australians “continue to experience high levels of disadvantage across all socio-economic indicators”, NACLC policy and advocacy director Amanda Alford said that this was but one more expert report showing extreme concern about the situation.

“This is yet another reminder that much remains to be done to address major human rights concerns for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia,” Ms Alford said.  

This is the fifth periodic report on Australia’s performance, with observations from the last such review made in 2009.

Ms Alford said that despite the positive steps Australia has taken since the last review, the latest observations revealed the UN committee’s “serious concerns” about economic, social and cultural rights that Australia has not fully ratified.  

The report also recommended that must Australia adopt a clear and pragmatic approach to immediately improve the rights and protection of refugees and people seeking asylum.

The NACLC and Kingsford Legal Centre pointed to additional Australian policies and measures that were found to have undermined people’s right to “an adequate standard of living”, inadequate provision of social security and housing and the gender wage gap.

Anna Cody, the director of Kingsford Legal Centre, urged the Australian government to take meaningful steps to implement changes in line with the report’s recommendations.

“We welcome the committee’s observations, including its recognition of the need for a national Human Rights Act or Bill of Rights, something NGOs have been advocating for over many years,” Ms Cody said.

Ms Alford added that the NGO community were prepared to work constructively with the federal government to assist in improving Australia’s human rights record.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

UN criticism of Australian human rights record welcomed by lawyers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 23 2017
Education a passion for YL president
Promoted by University of Melbourne. Melbourne Law Masters student Phoebe Blank is successfully j...
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...