: Community input on Economic, Social and 
Cultural Rights

Community input on Economic, Social and 
Cultural Rights

Katharine Young
ACT

The ACT government is currently preparing a response to the question of including economic, social and cultural rights in the list of recognised human rights in the ACT Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT). The Attorney-General tabled the ACT Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (‘ESCR’) Project Report in the Legislative Assembly on 9 December 2010. The report’s primary recommendation was that particular economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights to health care, housing, education, work and cultural life, should be included in human rights legislation in the ACT. The ACT would be the first state or territory in Australia to legislate explicitly for such rights.

A community consultation process was launched on 25 July 2011. The consultation will inform the government’s response to the Final Report of the ACT ESCR Project, an Australian Research Council-funded Linkage project carried out at the Centre for International Justice and Governance at the ANU and the Australian Human Rights Centre at UNSW, in collaboration with the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety. The report’s authors were Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Professor Andrew Byrnes, Renuka Thilagaratnam and Dr Katharine Young. The full report of the project and other relevant materials may be found at: http://acthra.anu.edu.au/PESCR/Publications/

The report included the results of several workshops in the ACT, as well as a model bill of economic, social and cultural rights protections. The model bill would put the recognised economic, social and cultural rights on a very similar footing to civil and political rights under the Human Rights Act 2004.

KATHARINE YOUNG teaches law at the ANU College of Law, and is a visiting fellow at the ANU Centre for International Governance & Justice.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 206
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