Today marks International Human Rights Day, commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
Human rights matter and should apply to all people. The Australian Government will continue to speak honestly and consistently for their promotion and protection internationally. As a proud, liberal democracy, we believe in the indivisibility, universality and inalienability of individual rights.
Nations that uphold principles domestically are more likely to cooperate in ways that promote the common good. Respecting fundamental human rights and freedoms, and building them into the fabric of society, makes Australia and the world safer and more secure.
The right of all people to dignity and respect means that we will continue to combat disadvantage, discrimination and persecution based on disability, gender, religion, sexuality, age, race or ethnicity. Our strong commitment to the rule of law means Australia will continue to stand up for the rights of all Australians, including due process and access to lawyers for our citizens detained abroad.
I have instructed Australia’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners to ensure engagement on human rights issues is a core part of the fabric of our bilateral relationships.
Australia will also continue to speak up for individual rights through our membership of the UN Human Rights Council. We will continue advocating for the improvement, application and enforcement of the rules and institutions that have provided the basis for universal human rights for more than 70 years.
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