Submission: Comments on Exposure Draft National Human Rights Action Plan

In RLC's view the exposure draft National Human Rights Action Plan mostly lists existing and proposed Commonwealth and Victorian programs, rather than a plan to strengthen Australian human rights protections in a systemic way.

The RLC agrees welcomes the commitment to improving data collection, the plan to review the compliance regime and complaints process, a law to ensure scrutiny of new legislation for compliance with human rights obligations, the plan to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution, and the range of actions to address the needs of people with disabilities.

We consider that the Plan should include a commitment to introduce an enforceable action for people who are discriminated against, funding of legal services for students, and action to address the gender pay gap.

The ‘Access to Justice’ section of the Plan is disappointing as it does not recognise or promote legal representation or advice as a means of protecting human rights. In particular, it does not contain actions to overcome barriers faced by particular disadvantaged groups.