New Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Established
Thursday, 22nd March 2012 at 11:44 am
|Flickr image: Some rights reserved by riacale|
Federal Parliament has established a Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Not for Profit sector is urging the committee to investigate the controversial NT Intervention legislation, Stronger Futures, as its first priority.
The committee was established by the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 last week to examine Bills for Acts and legislation that come before either House of the Parliament for compatibility with human rights.
Yesterday, the Not for Profit Stand For Freedom campaign, created by Our Generation in partnership with national aboriginal advocacy group ANTaR, delivered a petition to the Senate signed by 33,000 Australians urging the Gillard Government to withdraw the controversial NT Intervention, Stronger Futures legislation.
The legislation is expected to be debated in the Senate today.
Campaign Director, Damien Curtis, said the legislation has been created without the consent of Aboriginal people in the NT, and goes against their wishes for more control over their own lives.
“Tens of thousands of Australians are now calling for these bills to be withdrawn immediately,” he said.
The National Director of ANTaR, Jacqueline Phillips says her group will be pushing for the Human Rights committee to scrutinise the Stronger Futures legislation as a matter of urgency.
The new Human Rights committee consists of 10 members, 3 Members of the House of Representatives, 2 Members of the House of Representatives, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and 1 Senator to be nominated by any minority group or independent Senator;
The committee has yet to elect its chair.
Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, has been appointed as the Greens representative on Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Senator Wright, who is a lawyer and has been an advocate for the disadvantaged in the Australian community for three decades, said “it is very important that the committee works to as high a standard as possible to improve accountability and transparency with regard to the human rights impact of legislation.
“It is vital that the committee acts as more than a ‘rubber stamp’. The committee must ensure that legislation is properly considered in the light of human rights standards which will benefit us all.
Details about the Human Rights Commitee can be found here.