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Civil and Political Rights

Migration and Citizenship Amendment (Strengthening Information Provisions) Bill 2020

The Commission makes this submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee in relation to the Migration and Citizenship Amendment (Strengthening Information Provisions) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the Bill) introduced by the Australian Government.

Balancing Human Rights During COVID19

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Protecting public health and protecting human rights are not mutually exclusive choices – but how do we keep the balance between the two? What safeguards do we need to protect rights and freedoms in Australia and prevent the ‘creeping authoritarianism’ we have witnessed elsewhere in the world?

These were just some of the big questions of our time discussed by the panellists during the ‘Balancing Human Rights During COVID19’ RightsTalk, which the Australian Human Rights Commission presented in partnership with Lexis Nexis. 

‘Metadata law’ review makes key changes

The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed recommendations for reform of the mandatory data retention regime (known as the ‘metadata law’).

Review of the mandatory data retention regime (2019)

Summary

The Commission’s recommendations are aimed at ensuring that the data retention regime is more closely tailored to the purpose of fighting serious crime and is subject to appropriate safeguards and oversight.
The Commission’s recommendations are aimed at ensuring that the data retention regime is more closely tailored to the purpose of fighting serious crime and is subject to appropriate safeguards and oversight.

New data shows Australians want accountable AI

New research released by the Australian Human Rights Commission shows 46% of people in Australia are not aware that the government makes important decisions about them using artificial intelligence (AI). 

Older people, those not in paid employment and lower-income earners were least aware that government uses AI to make decisions. However, people in these groups are more likely to be affected by such decision making.

Wearing a mask will protect human liberties, not infringe upon them

There’s been a lot of talk, anger and resistance to the changes of our rights and freedoms as Australia deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. In some way or another, each and every one of us has encountered restrictions – on our freedom of movement, the right to peaceful protest, the ability to engage in public areas without wearing masks and the requirement to provide personal information for the purpose of contact tracing. 

More protections needed for people of faith

A new position paper examines the prevalence and effects of serious harms experienced by religious communities inside Australia.

Developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in partnership with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), Freedom of religion in Australia: a focus on serious harms examines existing research and draws on first-person accounts from people of faith from many religious backgrounds.

Implementing OPCAT in Australia released

The Commission has today released recommendations for how Australia should implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

Implementing OPCAT in Australia is the final step in the Commission’s consultation process with civil society, inspectorate and monitoring bodies, and a number of state and territory governments and independent agencies.

Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020

Summary

The concerns outlined in this submission draw on the Commission’s work inspecting Australia’s immigration detention facilities. The Commission has conducted such inspections since the mid-1990s.

The concerns outlined in this submission draw on the Commission’s work inspecting Australia’s immigration detention facilities. The Commission has conducted such inspections since the mid-1990s.

Commission position on the draft ‘COVIDSafe App’ Bill

The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the release of the exposure draft of the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020 (the ‘draft Bill’). This sets out the legal protections for the Australian Government’s contact-tracing COVIDSafe App.