Human Rights and Australian Foreign Policy: Recommendations for the Foreign Minister

On 24 March 2011, an NGO delegation comprising the Human Rights Law Centre, Amnesty International Australia, the Australian Council for International Development, the Australian Forum of Human Rights Organisations and the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, met with the Foreign Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, to discuss human rights and Australian foreign policy. The delegation set out its view that the realisation of human rights should be a primary goal and instrument of Australian foreign policy and made over 30 recommendations as to actions for Australia to take as a principled and effective human rights champion, including in the areas of:

  • the UN human rights system;
  • women's rights;
  • Indigenous peoples' rights;
  • a human rights-based approach to aid and development;
  • Australia's role in Asia and the Pacific; and
  • Australia's role in relation to other countries.

Many of the recommendations build on and complement recommendations made by the Human Rights Law Centre in the following policy briefs:

The NGO delegation will be advocating and following up on implementation of many of the recommendations in the coming months.