The Australian government has said it will include the UPR recommendations that it accepts into its National Human Rights Action Plan (‘Action Plan’), which is currently being developed, and will also deliver an ‘interim’ report on implementation of the recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in two years.
The Action Plan should be used to advance a number of important human rights initiatives such as: ensuring Australian jurisdictions have independent investigations of police-related deaths; expanding and enhancing federal equality laws; reducing violence against women; and ensuring proper and meaningful empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the UPR was a good opportunity to ‘showcase’ Australia’s strong human rights record. A true showcase would involve committing to tangible human rights improvements through practical legal reforms, including the introduction of a national Human Rights Act or Charter.
BEN SCHOKMAN works with the Human Rights Law Centre and DLA Piper.