10 December 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR recognises that respect for human rights and the rule of law is the foundation of peace, justice, security and human development. Australia played an important and constructive role in the development of this historic instrument and subsequent international human rights laws and mechanisms.
Australia's domestic, regional and international interests over the next 15 years and beyond require that we commit to collaborative and constructive leadership in developing and implementing modern and effective human rights standards, institutions and initiatives.
In this context, and in advance of the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, the Human Rights Law Resource Centre brought together a diverse range of Australian experts to develop a 15 year agenda to improve the promotion and protection of human rights at the domestic, regional and international levels.
The panel sought to do this by identifying significant or emerging human rights issues, challenges or opportunities for civil society and governmental action over the next 15 years, and developing an action plan for progress in the following areas:
- The rights of Indigenous Australians.
- Human rights, governance and policy development.
- International and regional institution building, engagement and normative development.
- Poverty, aid, trade, business, human rights and development.
- Equality and non-discrimination.
- The recognition, promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights.
- Building a culture of human rights through education and engagement.