In Australia, if you are an Indigenous child, you are 24 times more likely to be imprisoned than your non-Indigenous classmates. Amnesty's 'Community is Everything' campaign aims to end this inequality. Amnesty’s Indigenous rights work complements the huge amount of human rights advocacy that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and organisations are doing across Australia.
At the time of writing, Australian LGBTQI couples are unable to be married, unlike many countries who have recently changed laws giving all individuals the right of freedom from discrimination. Including discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Amnesty Australia are hopeful that an opportunity to achieve this reform without treating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex Australians as though their right to equality is dependent on a majority vote will come soon. Marriage Equality is on the agenda for 2017 with a Senate Committee looking into a draft amendment to the Marriage Act. Amnesty has joined the Equality Campaign, a national campaign to win marriage for all Australians through a parliamentary vote.
Founded in 1861, Amnesty International campaigns for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. It is a global movement of more than 7 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights.
At the time Amnesty International was founded it was impossible to image that torturers would become international outlaws. That most countries would abolish the death penalty. And seemingly untouchable dictators would be made to answer for their crimes.
Amnesty International is funded by members and donors. They are independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion. No government is beyond scrutiny. No situation is beyond hope.
Amnesty International investigate and expose the facts, whenever and wherever abuses happen. They lobby governments, and other powerful groups such as companies to keep promises and respect international law to help fight abuses of human rights worldwide.
Amnesty International campaign in the following areas:
- Armed conflict
- Arms control
- Corporate accountability
- Death penalty
- Freedom of expression
- Indigenous peoples
- International justice
- Living in dignity
- Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants
- Sexual and reproductive rights
Australian Human Rights Commission
The Commission was established in 1986 by an act of the federal Parliament. The Commission are an independent statutory organisation and report to the federal Parliament through the Attorney-General. Their mission is to lead in the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia by:
- making human rights values part of everyday life and language
- empower individuals to understand and exercise their human rights
- working with individuals, community, business and government to inspire action
- keeping government accountable to national and international human rights standards
This is achieved by listening, learning, communicating and educating. Also, being open, expert, committed and impartial whilst fostering a collaborative, diverse, flexible, respectful and innovative workplace.
The Commission has statutory responsibilities that include:
Education and public awareness: Developing human rights education programs and resources for schools, workplaces and the community. Providing independent legal advice to assist courts in cases that involve human rights principles
Discrimination and human rights complaints: Complaints of discrimination or breaches of human rights are resolved under federal laws.
Human rights compliance: Holding public inquiries into human rights issues of national importance
Policy and legislative development: providing advice and submissions to parliaments and governments to develop laws, policies and programs. Research into human rights and discrimination issues.
The Commission works closely with other national human rights institutions, particularly through the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, to address major human rights issues in the region.
The Commission also takes part is some international activities as part of the Australian Government's development program run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The most substantial of these is the Human Rights Technical Assistance Program, which is part of the annual Dialogue on Human Rights with China.
Center of Concern – Human Rights in Development
Center of Concern, based in Washing DC, is working towards a global community that upholds basic human rights and human dignity, fosters just relationships, promotes sustainable livelihoods, and renews the earth.
This is achieved through education, and advocacy. The Center engages with public and private centers of influence through social enterprise and by sharing its stakeholders’ voices for global social justice in ways that are effective, scalable, and sustainable.
The Center represents the USA in the global lay Catholic development and advocacy alliance, Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE) and is a member of Catholic Charities USA. The center holds consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 1974.
Human Rights Council of Australia
The Human Rights Council of Australia is committed to promoting universal human rights for all without discrimination in Australia, but also in the region and across the world.
Established in 1978, the council pioneered the now widely adopted human rights based approach to development. Other areas of activity have included refugee rights, indigenous issues, refugee issues, business and human rights, sport and human rights and the international human rights system. The Council holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic Social and Cultural Committee.
The goals of the Human Rights Council of Australia are:
- to promote and realize human rights for all without distinction
- to monitor actions by government and call for observance of international human rights obligations
- to contribute to human rights in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world
- to improve Australia’s human rights policies and Australia’s human rights performance
Human Rights Internet (HRI)
Where people and organizations can access current, reliable human rights information and resources to use in advocacy, education, and dialogue relevant to Canada, but open to anyone, anywhere in the world.
For more than a quarter of a century, HRI has offered leadership opportunities and documentation projects, publications and events to promote human rights and social justice.
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is an American, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation. Over 400 staff across the globe conduct research and advocacy around human rights. Staff include lawyers, journalists, and academics from a range of nationalities and backgrounds.
HRW is proud of its well-earned reputation for impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups.
Each year, HRW publishes more than 100 reports and briefings on human rights conditions in 90 countries. Staff meet with governments, the United Nations, financial institutions, and corporations to press for changes in policy and practice to promote human rights and justice globally.
In 1997 HRW was a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a campaign that won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (USA)
The Lawyers’ Committee offers opportunities for law firms and lawyers to provide pro bono assistance on civil rights matters. Currently, there are usually eighty matters being dealt with on any given day, a four-fold increase on workload thanks to pro bono assistance.
Lawyers’ Committees matters address racial discrimination in education, employment discrimination, environmental justice, housing and community development, and voting rights. Race based discrimination in other areas, such as public accommodation can also be addressed on occasion.
Most of the cases the Lawyers’ Committee accept involve current legal principles around civil rights. The Lawyers’ Committee works with groups and organisations. It only works on individual cases that may set important legal precedent, or as part of a special initiative, for example, supporting a start-up organisation with a focus on fair housing. In reality, most matters considered by the Lawyers’ Committee are those involved in cases where the impact will be significant, either directly on behalf of a large number of people, or indirectly by strengthening or extending civil rights law.
The Lawyers’ Committee, however, also files many amicus briefs each year in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, and, occasionally, in state appellate courts (also known as courts of appeal). Amicus briefs are legal documents filed in courts of appeal by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter. The briefs advise the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider.
The Lawyers’ Committee also has ongoing research projects frequently aimed at developing a knowledge base in cutting edge issues that are expected to be part of litigation in the near future.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030. Trying to reach the most vulnerable, increasing access to basic resources and services, and supporting communities affected by conflict and climate related disasters.
End hunger, attain food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. This involves improving the livelihoods and capacities of small scale farmers, allowing equal access to land, technology and markets. International cooperation is needed to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This goal includes a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases. The aim is also for universal health coverage, plus access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all through the support of research and development for vaccines.
Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The aim is for all girls and boys to complete free primary and secondary schooling. Plus providing equal access to affordable vocational training, and the elimination of gender and wealth disparities so that there is universal access to quality higher education.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by giving women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property are vital targets to realizing this goal. So is ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health.
Ensure access to water and sanitation for all through investment in adequate infrastructure, provision of sanitation facilities, and encouraging hygiene at every level. This also requires protecting and restoring water, including in related ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands and rivers to mitigate water scarcity.
Ensure that everyone has access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. Invest in solar, wind, thermal and other clean energies. Adopt cost-effective standards for a wider range of technologies. This can reduce global electricity consumption through buildings and by industry by 14 percent. This would reduce the number of large power plants that need to be built by more than one-hundred.
Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. To encourage sustained economic growth by achieving higher levels of productivity through technological innovation. Encourage entrepreneurship and job creation together with effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking.
Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Invest in scientific research and innovation to bring about sustainable development.
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries. Income inequality is a global problem that requires global solutions. Improving the regulation and monitoring of financial markets and institutions, encouraging development assistance and foreign direct investment to regions where the need is greatest and facilitating the safe migration and mobility of people are key to bridging the widening divide.
UN High Commission for Human Rights (UNCHR)
The principal United Nations office has a mission to promote and protect human rights for all. The UNHCR speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide, providing a place for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today's human rights challenges, and acts as the main focal point of human rights research, and a central point for education, public information, and advocacy activities in the United Nations system.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides assistance to Governments, such as expertise and technical training in the administration of justice, legislative reform, and electoral process, to help implement international human rights standards on the ground. Non-government organisations can be assisted in the same way to take responsibility and fulfil their obligations to protect human rights.