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Human Rights E-Forum

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Human Rights E-Forum

Processes of globalisation and migration have resulted in an ever-changing multicultural Australia with a wide mix of cultures, traditions, customs, languages, religions and values. This resulting confluence of cultures, if not recognised, understood and managed within a human rights framework can lead to intolerance, deepening misconceptions and misunderstandings and even violence such as that displayed towards the Australian Muslim or International student communities. Such events can have a multiplier effect on social exclusion, local and global security issues.

Cultural diversity within a human rights framework has increasing relevance to all Australians. Yet the contribution and importance of cultural diversity and human rights in creating a pathway to human development, freedom, harmony and social inclusion has often been ignored in political debate.

To fill this gap and enable sustained and informed debate on human rights and cultural diversity, the Australian Human Rights Commission, in partnership with the newly formed Institute for Cultural Diversity, has created a human rights e-forum. Located on the Institute’s website (www.culturaldiversity.net.au) the human rights e-forum establishes an electronic forum and clearing house to communicate across the community, government, service provision, non-government/advocacy, academic and other relevant sectors with an interest in racism, cultural and religious diversity and the promotion of human rights.

The human rights e-forum offers all Australians an opportunity to contribute to the growing conversation about our multicultural society. Through an online community and a variety of portals – from blogs, closed or open forums to formal consultation processes – registered users can choose how they wish to engage. This will enable the Commission to keep open communication with communities of diverse backgrounds and will directly inform, support and promote the work of the Commission. The e-forum also acts as an information portal, providing up-to-date media articles, research articles, events on human rights and cultural diversity and links to related websites.

As the human rights e-forum grows, community members, professionals, researchers, artists, students and people from all walks of life, will add ideas, events, resources, comments and weblinks. As such, the e-forum will build a national network of research and researchers that will support the commissioning, publication and review of articles. It can also be used by the Commission and others to canvass ideas and seek feedback on human rights, Islamophobia, race and religious discrimination, cultural diversity and related issues.

This project offers a unique structure to consult with, canvass expert opinions from, promote informed debate, and commission work from national experts (both practical and academic) working in the fields of – amongst other things – culture, human rights, civil society, media, multiculturalism and sociology.

The human rights e-forum was launched on 16 October 2009 in Sydney.

For more information please email: humanrights@culturaldiversity.net.au or call Krista Lee-Jones on (02) 9284 9812.