human rights news & views

Freedom to seek and receive

The Rudd government appears to be delivering on a key election promise: to reform freedom of information (FOI) law in Australia, currently ranked 28th in the world for press freedom. Special Minister for State, John Faulkner (pictured), last week released draft legislation slated to improve Australians' right to seek and receive information from their government. […]

A child’s right to privacy

I heard news today of an old friend. She’s married with two kids and living in an outer suburb of Melbourne in one of those enormous houses widely derided as a ‘McMansion.’ Despite significant housing problems in Australia, these ‘suburban castles’ with four or more bedrooms account for 60% of new housing downunder; 48% of […]

Housing crisis in Australia: UN

Indian architect Miloon Kothari has been UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing since 2000. He has just concluded a visit to Australia to assess compliance with human rights obligations in relation to housing. Since ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1976, Australia has been obliged to fulfil […]

Some rights protection in some of Australia, in spite of everything

A little bit of human rights history was made in south-eastern Australia yesterday when the parliament of Victoria passed laws protecting civil and political rights. The Australian Capital Territory has had a Human Rights Act since 2004, but this is the first major jurisdiction in Australia, the first state, to pass human rights legislation. Western […]