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Separate Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners to be Restored in the Human Rights Commission for the First Time in 13 Years

Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) January 27, 2011

Separate Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners to be Restored in the Human Rights Commission for the First Time in 13 Years

Separate Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners to be Restored in the Human Rights Commission for the First Time in 13 Years

Attorney-General Robert McClelland today announced the Gillard Government will restore the stand alone positions of Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners in the Australian Human Rights Commission.

“For the first time in 13 years, Australia will have a separate Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners in the Human Rights Commission,” said Mr McClelland.

“Today’s announcement builds on the Gillard’s Government commitment last year to establish the first Age Discrimination Commissioner.

“This increased funding will ensure the Australian Human Rights Commission continues to plays a leading role in the protection and promotion of human rights, including their valuable public education role and advocacy for vulnerable members of our community.”

The Government’s announcement comes as the Australia appears before the United Nations Human Rights Council for its first Universal Periodic Review.    This process involves a review of the human rights record of each member of the United Nations every four years.

The delegation is being lead by Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Senator Kate Lundy.

“Australia has a strong human rights record and the Government welcomes the opportunity to discuss our human rights achievements and initiatives with the international community,” Ms Lundy said.

“We will continue to engage with the international community to promote and protect human rights at home, in our region and in the rest of the world.”

The establishment of full-time Disability and Race Discrimination Commissioners in the Australian Human Rights Commission separates these roles for the first time since 1997.  Both roles are currently filled by Mr Graeme Innes.

“Commissioner Innes has been a strong advocate as both Disability Discrimination and Race Discrimination Commissioner,” Mr McClelland said.

“He will continue in this role until 1 July, after which he will continue his important work as Disability Discrimination Commissioner alongside a new Race Discrimination Commissioner.”

The Government will call for expressions of interest for the positions of Age and Race Discrimination Commissioners shortly.  The new Commissioners are expected to take office on 1 July 2011.


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