Australian Government releases National Human Rights Action Plan

10 December 2012


Australia’s National Human Rights Action Plan was released today – on International Human Rights Day - highlighting the steps our country is taking to protect and promote human rights.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the Action Plan focuses on both the continuing and new priorities for Australia’s human rights across the Commonwealth, States and Territories.

“As we acknowledge International Human Rights Day, it is fitting that we release Australia’s National Human Rights Action Plan – a road map for human rights progress in our community,” Ms Roxon said.

“The Government has a vision for Australia that is free, democratic, just and tolerant, where people have opportunities to make a decent life for themselves, and a community that supports those who are disadvantaged.

“While we can be proud of our human rights record, Australians should know that this Government will continue working to better secure their rights, and meet our international obligations.

“The Action Plan follows detailed consultation across governments and in the community and clearly demonstrates that Australian governments are taking significant steps to protect human rights.”

These include: 

• a new National Disability Insurance Scheme

• an Act of Recognition acknowledging the unique and special place of Australia’s First Peoples as an important step towards holding a successful referendum to change the constitution to recognise Indigenous people

• a new Federal Children’s Commissioner

• ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, and

• a review of federal legislation for barriers to older people participating in productive work.

The action plan was based on the first thorough and publicly available human rights baseline study to identify human rights priorities for Australia. 

“We have listened carefully to the United Nations. We have also asked non-government organisations and the Australian community for their ideas and concerns,” Ms Roxon said.

“This action plan explains in detail how Australia will implement the recommendations accepted during its Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations in 2011.”

The National Human Rights Action Plan is an initiative under Australia’s Human Rights Framework. More information is available at


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