Solicitors from Kingsford Legal Centre at UNSW Sydney will lead a delegation to a United Nations committee hearing in Geneva next week highlighting the lack of protection for human rights and women's rights under Australian law.
The NGO delegation is to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which is reviewing Australia's human rights performance and compliance with its women’s rights treaty obligations.
Kingsford Legal Centre coordinated an NGO shadow report about Australia’s women’s rights record with the National Association of Community Legal Centres, Community Legal Centres NSW and Good Shepherd Australia, and the findings show that human rights, including women’s rights, are not effectively protected under Australian law.
The report will provide the UN Committee with a current snapshot of human rights issues for women in the Australian community.
Anna Cody, Director of the Kingsford Legal Centre, says the Australian government must urgently enact a human rights framework to protect the fundamental human rights of Australian women.
'Despite relying on gender equality as a key pillar of its campaign for a seat on the Human Rights Council, the Australian government’s support for women’s rights is woefully lagging.'
“Violence against women continues to be endemic in Australia, with one-in-three women experiencing physical violence. Our report recommends that the Australian government properly fund community-led services and programs that support women, including specialist women’s and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal assistance services,” she said.
“In particular, the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to participate in public life, access basic health care, and enjoy family, economic and social rights are endangered in Australia by over-incarceration and endemic discrimination. We urge the government to listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and work with communities to improve enjoyment of fundamental human rights.
“Despite relying on gender equality as a key pillar of its campaign for a seat on the Human Rights Council, the Australian government’s support for women’s rights is woefully lagging at home. Our report details how Australia is failing to ensure equality for all women in Australia.”
The full report is available on the Kingsford Legal Centre website.