: Baseline Study for Human Rights Action Plan Released

Baseline Study for Human Rights Action Plan Released

Adam Fletcher
Human Rights

The Australian government, as part of its commitment to develop a National Human Rights Action Plan (see DUAO 36(1)), has released a draft Baseline Study which attempts to identify key areas of need to inform the Action Plan.

According to the Attorney-General’s department, ‘[t]he Baseline Study is the first step in developing an Action Plan. It is not intended to cover every issue, but rather to provide a meaningful snapshot to guide the development of an Action Plan.’

The study, again according to the department, ‘builds on the findings of the 2009 human rights consultations to present a picture of the status of human rights in Australia by:

  • outlining relevant statistics and other research on key human rights issues
  • noting relevant recommendations from Australia’s recent Universal Periodic Review (‘UPR’) at the United Nations
  • highlighting major government initiatives already in place, and
  • proposing issues that a National Action Plan could address.’

The department received numerous contributions after its call for input on the Background Paper released in December 2010 (available on their website). NGOs and other interested parties are strongly encouraged to maintain (or increase) this level of interest in the draft Baseline Study and forthcoming draft National Action Plan. The government has indicated it wishes to develop an ‘effective and forward looking Action Plan’ with ‘an evidence-based approach to setting priorities,’ and it can only do this if civil society contributes to the evidence‑gathering process.

ADAM FLETCHER is the Manager of the Accountability Project, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 203
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