multicultural Hot Words

Making multicultural Australia

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Hotword: Rights...




In Australia all people have certain basic rights. For example, we all have the right to vote, speak freely, follow our chosen religion and obtain education.

Most rights are expressed as the right to be protected from discrimination and the right to live one’s life as one wishes within the law.

Some rights are known as human rights. The principles of human rights are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948.

Rights are respected differently in different countries and by different governments within the same country.

Australia has no Bill of Rights entrenched in any of its Commonwealth or State Constitutions. However, Australia has one of the better human rights records in the world.

What makes it hot?

The debate on whether Australia should have a Bill of Rights is very hot, as politicians and lawyers generally oppose such a Bill, while community activists generally want such laws.

Australia has signed a number of international agreements on rights that allow international bodies such as the United Nations to confirm that the Australian Government is acting in accordance with these rights. Rights has become a very hot word in recent years with disputes in relation to the Australian Government’s response to the rights of refugees, and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander people.

Date Added:

10 March 2002