Adopt anti-racism framework, urges Australian Human Rights Commission

Of note:

The Australian Human Rights Commission is calling on the federal government to implement its new plan for a national anti-racism framework.

The concept paper, released on Wednesday, outlines key components that need to be included in the framework. According to the paper, the framework must recognise and acknowledge Australia’s ancient Indigenous heritage, its British heritage, and its diverse multicultural heritage.

“A national framework should also acknowledge Australia’s geo-political location in the Asia-Pacific region in the ‘Asian century’ as well as being capable of embracing the history and circumstances of Australia’s diverse diaspora communities,” the paper said.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan noted that recent events have shown that Australia is facing a resurgence in racism.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted injustices experienced by people from culturally diverse backgrounds and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed ugly racism against people of Asian descent here in Australia,” he said in a speech on Tuesday.

“And ASIO and the AFP have repeatedly identified home grown terrorism and extremism as a significant threat to the national security of Australia. It is also now just over two years since the terrible events in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian man murdered 51 people, and attempted to murder another 40 people.”

Tan argued that it’s time to treat the “scourge of racism” in the same way that issues such as domestic violence and child abuse are treated.

“On those issues we have in place longstanding national frameworks, signed onto by all governments in Australia, with three-year action plans to target priority issues and make serious headway in addressing them,” he said.

“Let me be clear: racism is a significant economic, social and national security threat to Australia. It is time we treated it as such. We need a new approach to combatting racism — one that is more cohesive across government, that builds community partnerships to prevent racism from flourishing, and one that is smarter and more effective.”

The AHRC’s proposed national framework would do this, Tan said.

Source: Adopt anti-racism framework, urges Australian Human Rights Commission

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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