Australia has always shown a strong commitment to protecting human rights. We are signatories to key international instruments defining important rights. And the Australian Human Rights Commission has been both an advocate for, and defender of, upholding the human rights of all Australians.
The rights of people in Australia is a hotly debated topic. Restrictions imposed by State and Federal governments during the Covid-19 pandemic showed how quickly freedoms we take for granted can be removed or debased, with few apparent murmurs of dissent.
But as the ideology of identity politics tightens its grip on our society – in schools, universities, and boardrooms – with cancellation threatened as a sanction for those deemed to have offended, we have seen how claims to the exercise of fundamental human rights to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion have also been weakened.