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Commission welcomes ALRC report on religious schools and anti-discrimination laws

Content type: Media Release
Topic(s): Legal

The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes the tabling of the report by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) on Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws.  

The ALRC’s recommendations would ensure that students and teachers are protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexuality, gender identity, marital or relationship status, or pregnancy – regardless of which school or educational institution they attend. 

The report also recognises the right to freedom of religion and that religious schools should be able to preference the employment of people who share the same religion, where this is reasonably necessary and proportionate to the aim of building or maintaining a community of faith.

The Commission urges the Federal Government to introduce legislation that is consistent with the recommendations in the ALRC report.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Anna Cody said: “Our federal laws must not allow discrimination against students or teachers at any school on the basis of their sex, sexuality or gender identity, and I encourage the Government to amend the Sex Discrimination Act accordingly.

“Our laws should also ensure that the allowance of preferential employment by religious educational institutions should only occur where it is necessary to maintain a community of faith, and any such allowances should be reasonable and proportionate. This is in keeping with international human rights law.”

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Tags Legal