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Annual Report 2001-2002: Appendix 1

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Annual Report 2000-2001

Appendix 1

Instruments observed under legislation administed by the Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission Act

The International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
deals with many human rights
and includes the right without discrimination to:

  • freedom from
    torture or cruel and inhumane punishment
  • equality before
    the law
  • humane treatment
    if deprived of liberty
  • freedom of thought,
    conscience and religion
  • peaceful assembly
  • a vote and
    election by equal suffrage
  • marriage and

The Declaration
of the Rights of the Child
provides that every child has the right

  • a name and
  • adequate nutrition,
    housing and medical services
  • education
  • special treatment,
    education and care if the child has a disability
  • adequate care,
    affection and security
  • protection
    from neglect, cruelty and exploitation

The Declaration
on the Rights of Disabled Persons
provides that people with disabilities
have the right to:

  • respect and
  • assistance
    to enable them to become as self-reliant as possible
  • education, training
    and work
  • family and
    social life
  • protection
    from discriminatory treatment

The Declaration
on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons
provides that people
with a mental disability have the right to:

  • proper medical
    care and therapy
  • protection
    from exploitation, abuse and degrading treatment
  • a decent standard
    of living
  • education,
    training and work
  • due process
    of law
  • review of procedures
    which may deny them these rights

The International
Labour Organisation Convention 111
deals with discrimination in
employment and occupation. Australian adherence to this Convention provides
that all people have the right to equal treatment in employment and
occupation without discrimination on the basis of:

  • race
  • colour
  • sex
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • national extradition
  • social origin
  • age
  • medical record
  • criminal record
  • sexual preference
  • trade union
  • marital status
  • nationality
  • disability (whether
    physical, intellectual, psychiatric or mental)
  • impairment
    (including HIV/AIDS status)

The Convention
on the Rights of the Child
confirms that children are entitled to
the full range of human rights recognised in international law (subject
to limitations relating to their capacity to exercise these rights and
to the responsibilities of families). The Convention also recognises
a range of rights relating to the special needs of children. It seeks
to ensure that the protection of these rights in law and practice is

The Declaration
on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination
Based on Religion or Belief
became part of the definition of human
rights for the purposes of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act
on 24 February 1994. The Declaration recognises the right to freedom
of religion. The only limitations to this right are those prescribed
by law and which are necessary to protect public safety, order, health,
morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

Racial Discrimination Act

The International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
aims at the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination in order
to promote understanding between races and provide freedom from racial
segregation. It is entered into force for Australia by the Commonwealth
Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in which it is scheduled.

Sex Discrimination Act

The Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and
certain aspects of the International Labour (ILO) Convention 156 are
multilateral agreements adopted under the auspices of the General Assembly
of the United Nations in 1979. The Conventions recognise the civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights of women. The Commonwealth
Sex Discrimination Act 1984 implemented the Convention into Australian