Time to motivate the young

The theme for Human Rights Day on Saturday is Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All. Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says, “It is absolutely clear that we need to regain the universality of human rights, the indivisibility of human rights, and we need to find a new energy that motivates young people around the world.”


To coincide with 2022 Human Rights Day, Amnesty International Australia earlier this year launched its agenda outlining key human rights priorities, key among them the need for a Federal Human Rights Act.


“The Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis have laid bare the devastating consequences of abuse of power, structurally and historically,” Amnesty International Australia National Director, Sam Klintworth, said.


“These crises may not define who we are, but it has shown us what we should not be. The foundations for a sustainable, post-pandemic society rest not merely on recovery. It requires accountability, human rights, and a reshaping of our relationship to our environment, economy and each other.”


Australia played a crucial role in developing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. But Australia today remains the only liberal democracy without overarching human rights protection, and issues of racism, discrimination, children’s rights and the right to seek asylum, among others.

Amnesty International Australia says action is required to:

  • Legislate a National Human Rights Act to protect and promote dignity, equality and respect for all peoples in Australia;
  • Increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years of age and stop trapping children in the criminal justice system;
  • Increase the annual refugee resettlement intake to at least 30,000 people; End the system of offshore detention and accept the New Zealand offer of resettlement;
  • Strengthen 2030 carbon emissions target and significantly accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels, including coal and gas.

Information gleaned from www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day and



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