Legislated human rights are one step closer in Queensland after a bill was tabled in State Parliament today. The bill will go to a committee for community consultation, with a view to passing into law by early 2019.
The Queensland act has been modelled on the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act, with the addition of rights to education, health and a specific mention of the cultural rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
QCOSS has been calling for legally enshrined human rights for some time and strongly supports the Palaszczuk government’s historic move.
“A Human Rights Act will mean all Queenslanders are treated fairly, and this bill is an exciting step in the right direction to ensuring people are appropriately supported and not made vulnerable by systems that can so often cause people harm,” said Queensland Council of Social Service CEO Mr Mark Henley.
“QCOSS believes this bill will lead to a fairer Queensland, and we look forward to working constructively with Government to continue the momentum and ensure this bill benefits all Queenslanders.”
Alongside Queensland’s 12 community service peak organisations, QCOSS believes the introduction of a Human Rights Act is crucial to creating a fair, just and equal society, as well as providing important social, economic and cultural benefits.
A human rights act not only aligns Queensland with signed international human rights treaties, but ensures human rights complaints can be heard and determined within the State of Queensland.
Legal protections are also critical in providing a recourse for people who have been mistreated, and ensures authorities can be held to account.
For nearly 60 years QCOSS has been a leading force for social change to eliminate poverty and disadvantage.
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