The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) prepared this submission to comment on the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department Background Paper on the development of a new National Human Rights Action Plan (‘Action Plan’). The Action Plan forms part of Australia’s Human Rights Framework (‘Framework’) that was introduced by the Government on 21 April 2010.
This submission contains information about the NATSILS, a critique of the Framework, comments on the proposed approach and process of the Action Plan outlined in the Background Paper, comments on the human rights situation in States and Territories and recommendations for the Action Plan. It also endorses the submission of the Human Rights Law Resource Centre (HRLRC) and the Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria (FCLC).
The submission notes that the major limitation of the Framework is the failure to incorporate a legally enforceable Human Rights Act; and that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have not been adequately addressed. The submission urges the Government to act in accordance with the principles contained in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the development of the Action Plan.