Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill helping to make the law simpler and fairer, but it could be better
Community Legal Centres welcome the opportunity to speak at the Inquiry into the Exposure Draft of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012.
“Unfortunately community legal centres see people everyday who have experienced discrimination and fall through the gaps in the current system. This Bill represents a vital opportunity to make anti-discrimination laws more efficient, accessible and clear,” said Michael Smith, National Convenor, National Association of Community Legal Centres Inc (NACLC).
In particular NACLC sees as a big step forward:
- the combined definition of discrimination to make the law simpler and clearer
- measures to deal with systemic discrimination
- the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal law
“This law will make it simpler, clearer and easier for all people to know what is against the law. Equality for all in our society is vital and this law makes that more achievable.
“Addressing entrenched discrimination could still be improved with people who have experienced unfair treatment being able to go to court directly, and community organisations should be able to help them through representative complaints,” added Anna Cody, Director, Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC).
“We are encouraged by the Bill but there is still room for fine-tuning, by including domestic violence and social status as reasons you can’t treat someone unfairly and removing religious exemptions, especially for government funded agencies,” said Ms Cody.
“It would be appalling if the Bill should fail because of some misunderstanding about the meaning of discrimination and this should clearly be unfavourable treatment and include harassment,” concluded Mr Smith.
The wait is over and the time is now for a consolidated Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill.
For further information or to arrange an interview contact:
Anna Cody – Director, KLC 0431 636594
Open the link to view the submission to the Inquiry: Joint submission by NACLC and KLC
Follow discussions about the Bill on Twitter using #actforequality
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