Race Relations and Human Rights – The
NZ Diversity Forum 2009
Te Papa National Museum of NZ
24th August 2009
The Victorian Charter of
Rights protected by the charter
s-11 Freedom from forced work s-9 Right to life
s-12 Freedom of movement s-17 Protection of families and
s-14 Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief children
s-15 Freedom of expression s-19 Cultural rights, including
s-16 Right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association recognition of the distinct cultural
s-20 Property rights rights of the Aboriginal people of
s-21 Right to liberty and security of person
s-24 Fair hearing EQUALITY
s-25 Rights in criminal proceedings
s-8 Recognition and equality
s-26 Right not to be tried and punished more than once before the law
s-27 Protection from retrospective criminal laws s-18 Entitlement to participate
DIGNITY in public life (including voting)
s-10 Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
s-13 Protection of privacy and reputation
s-22 Humane treatment when deprived of liberty
s-23 Appropriate treatment of children in the criminal process
The Commission’s Charter
Recognition of Aboriginal
Human rights have a special importance for the
Aboriginal people of Victoria, as descendants of
Australia’s first people, with their diverse spiritual,
social, cultural and economic relationship with
their traditional lands and waters.
• Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) - Preamble.
Recognition of Aboriginal
Aboriginal persons hold distinct cultural rights and must not
be denied the right, with other members of their
• To enjoy their identify and culture; and
• To maintain and use their language; and
• To maintain their kinship ties; and
• To maintain their distinctive spiritual, material and economic
relationship with the land and waters and other resources with
which they have a connection under traditional laws and customs.
• Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) section 19 (2)
From our perspective as Aboriginal peoples we
tend to see everything from the framework of our
stories and our relationships.
And it is not just our stories concerning the creator
spirits but our stories of resistance which define
our world along with our relationships to family,
kith and kin, and the land.
So the human rights story is not a dry story of law
books and diplomatic memos and resolutions – it
comes from a lived experience of what happens
when individuals and minority groups’ rights are
There are dire consequences when the state and
the whims of the majority are seen as absolutes.
And central to that story is the realization of the
notion of self-determination for all people and all
So the story of human rights is basically about
creating a platform for how we relate to each
other as individuals and as peoples.
 Bamblett, M. The Right’s Approach to Closing the Gap: How
Human Rights is Good for Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing.
International Student Task
Martin Luther King Jnr
It may be true that the law
cannot make a man love me,
but it can stop him from
lynching me, and I think that's
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights
3/380 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
• Enquiries 9281 7100
• Toll Free 1800 134 142
• TTY 9281 7110
• Web-site: www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
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